The amount of alcohol in a person’s body is measured by the weight of the alcohol in a certain measure of blood; also known as the “blood alcohol concentration,” or “BAC.”

When alcohol is consumed by a person, it is absorbed directly through the walls of the stomach and the small intestine; it then travels into the blood stream throughout the body finally impacting the brain.  This is how one becomes “intoxicated.”  Alcohol is  absorbed rapidly and can be measured within 30 to 70 minutes after a person has had a drink.

There are a number of factors that play into how fast a person’s BAC rises.  First, the number of drinks one consumes is the most obvious; the more one drinks the higher the BAC.  Second, how quickly one imbibes alcohol can be an issue because the body breaks down alcohol at a rate of about one drink per hour; therefore, if a person consumes one drink per hour, it will break down at a more rapid pace than five drinks because of the filtration limitations of the human liver.  Third, gender can also contribute because women generally have less water and more body fat per pound than men, and alcohol does not go into fat cells as easily as other cells.  Thus, alcohol can remain in the blood of women for longer periods of time.  Fourth, one’s weight is another factor because the more a person weighs, the more water is present in the body.  This causes the dilution of the alcohol, and the lowering of the person’s BAC.  Finally, the last factor is how much food a person has in his or her stomach.  Absorption will be slowed down if you have had something to eat.

Due to these multiple factors, it is very hard for a person to assess his or her own impairment.  Though small amounts of alcohol can affect one’s ability to drive, people often swear they are “fine” after several drinks.  However, the failure to recognize impairment can often be one of the symptoms of impairment.

This lack of recognition causes a person to get behind the wheel of a car when they shouldn’t.  As a result bad things can happen; one may be arrested by the police, or even more serious they are more likely to be involved in an automobile accident as a result of their impairment.  This could injure or even kill the driver and also the people who were driving in the vehicle.  The charge of DUI could then be escalated to a more serious charge of Vehicular Manslaughter and Felony DUI.

If you or a loved one has made the decision to get behind the wheel of a car, boat, or any other motorized vehicle and been charged with a DUI or Felony DUI, call the Law Offices of Reeves, Aiken & Hightower to discuss your outcome. Contact us today for a free consultation at704-499-9000 or 877-374-5999 toll-free.