3 factors that affect BAC level

On Behalf of | Jun 28, 2023 | DUI |

Breathalyzer tests measure blood alcohol concentration/content (BAC) based on how much alcohol is in the air you breathe out. In Florida, you may be charged with driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol when your BAC level is 0.08 or above

However, different factors can affect BAC level – two people who drink the same amount of alcohol can have different results. Below are three of them.

1. Gender

Men have highly active forms of alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH), the enzyme responsible for metabolizing alcohol to acetaldehyde, in their stomach and liver. Thus, they can metabolize alcohol faster, reducing its absorption into the bloodstream. Contrarily, women have almost no ADH in their stomach. Therefore, most of the alcohol they drink is absorbed into the bloodstream.

Further, males generally have lower body fat than women, which means they have a higher body water percentage. As a result, they can absorb more alcohol from the blood. 

Due to these factors, a male and a female drinking the same amount of alcohol can have different BAC results.

2. Age

ADH levels in men begin to drop with age. Consequently, they may metabolize alcohol slowly when they get older.  Further, older individuals have less muscle mass and less water content. Hence, they absorb less alcohol from the blood.   

3. Food consumption

Someone drinking on an empty stomach may have a higher BAC level. Food can prevent alcohol from passing into the small intestine. Only a small percentage of alcohol is absorbed into the bloodstream through the stomach. Most of it enters the bloodstream through the small intestine. For this reason, people who eat before drinking can have lower BAC levels.

The above-discussed factors can determine your BAC results. If you are facing a DUI charge, you should get legal help to defend yourself, protecting your record.