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Your metabolic rate affects how drunk you get

Everyone has seen the one guy at the bar who seems to be able to toss back beers and shots, then get up and walk a straight line. Then there are others who get tipsy and lightheaded from a single glass of wine. How is that possible?

It could have to due with the rate that their bodies are able to metabolize alcohol. Below is some information on how an individual's metabolic rate could affect their likelihood of facing OWI charges.

Factors to consider

All states have set the limit of blood alcohol concentration (BAC) at .08%. But whether it takes you one drink or several to reach that limit depends on various factors, including your metabolism. If the person weighs 150 lbs., and adds .02% of alcohol to their BAC every 60 minutes, they would metabolize .01% each hour.

But that rate can be affected by various factors, including:

  • Whether the drinker is a man or woman
  • The person’s weight and height
  • Their metabolic rate
  • How recently they consumed food

For instance, women typically absorb alcohol faster than their male counterparts with other factors being roughly equal. But if a person has a higher body fat to muscle ratio, they could experience intensified BAC because fatty tissue has little water to absorb the alcohol from the bloodstream the way that muscle tissue will. In those cases, larger does not necessarily equal less impaired.

Someone who eats a high-protein meal prior to a night of drinking will absorb the alcohol more slowly than somebody who is drinking on an empty stomach. Also, if you are drinking a daiquiri with a couple of different shots in it, you can expect to get intoxicated faster than a beer drinker if you match them drink for drink.

People who, over time, have developed a higher tolerance for alcohol can also appear to be less impaired than those who drink only sporadically. While they may have a high BAC, a seasoned drinker simply may exhibit few of the signs of impairment that the police look for — slurring their words, stumbling — when arresting motorists for drunk driving.

If you get arrested on OWI charges, it’s worthwhile to fight back with a stalwart defense to avoid a conviction.

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