Factors That Can Affect Intoxication

Whether you’re talking to a felony DUI lawyer in Boulder or just your average guy or gal on the street, chances are they’ll be able to tell that the more you drink, the more inebriated you’re likely to become. A conclusion like that is second nature, but what’s less intuitive is the fact that there are multiple variables that can influence intoxication. Today, we’re going to talk about some of the most important factors that come into play when you drink.

The Complexities of Intoxication

In a nutshell, you get drunk after alcohol enters your bloodstream and starts to affect your brain chemistry. This process doesn’t occur equally in everyone, however, and there are quite a few variables you’ll want to watch for that will factor into your blood alcohol content (BAC). These include the following:

How Fast You Drink

Drinking a lot is one thing, but drinking a lot in a short amount of time will send your BAC higher than drinking a small amount over an extended period of time.

Your Genetics and Heritage

If you have a personal family history of alcoholism and being poor with handling alcoholic beverages, it’s more likely that you will as well. What’s more, those of certain ethnic backgrounds, like individuals of Asian descent, are more likely to carry alcohol in their bloodstream for longer periods of time, meaning that their BAC will build faster.

Your Gender

Men and women, on average, deal with alcohol differently. This goes beyond the fact that men tend to be larger than women, and is also because women have less alcohol dehydrogenase (an enzyme that metabolizes alcohol) in their blood. 

In addition, women often have more body fat, so alcohol tends to accumulate in their bloodstream and send their BAC higher than a man’s when drinking the same amount.

Your Size and Body Makeup

The smaller you are, the quicker and more heavily you will become intoxicated.The same is true for individuals with more body fat and less lean muscle.

If you’ve been eating beforehand, though, that usually slows the absorption of alcohol and will slow down how quickly you become intoxicated. What’s more, drinking while you’re dehydrated will compound the effect, so it’s best to keep drinking water alongside your alcohol if you’re choosing to indulge.

Remember It’s Not Just How Much You Drink

Intoxication in the human body is complicated, so you’ll need to take multiple factors into consideration when thinking about how inebriated a few drinks will make you. In addition to what we’ve covered today, lack of sleep, illness, and combining alcohol with other drugs will make its effects more potent. Be sure to drink responsibly and in moderation.