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Does alcohol tolerance impact your blood alcohol content?

On Behalf of | Sep 14, 2021 | DWI

Whether you consume alcohol or know someone who does, you likely have heard that some people have a greater tolerance for it than others. Individuals who choose to classify themselves generally either refer to themselves as being “heavyweights” or “lightweights.”

The difference between these two types of drinkers may leave you wondering if this could potentially impact how they could perform if they were to drive after a night out drinking. It’s hard to say simply based on a person’s alcohol tolerance, as that doesn’t generally impact their blood alcohol content (BAC).

What is a BAC, and how is it determined?

Your BAC percentage is based on a ratio of alcohol to blood content, and each person has a different amount of blood depending on their size. Gender can also affect someone’s BAC. That being said, you might conclude that if you and a same-gendered, equally statured friend consume the same amount of alcohol, then you could legitimately end up with the same BAC. That’s not necessarily the case, though.

While how much a person drinks is definitively likely to impact their BAC, other factors, including the following, can also impact it:

  • What and how much a person eats
  • If they suffer from certain medical conditions
  • What medications they take and how much

There’s an added factor that also impacts a person’s BAC, which is metabolization. Each person’s body processes food and drinks at different rates.

So, if we go back to the original question about whether a heavyweight or lightweight drinker is potentially safer to drive home after a night of drinking, the answer is that it’s too risky for either of them to take such a chance.

You may not feel buzzed immediately after consuming a drink, but it may hit you on your way home. You may think that you’re just a little buzzed yet not have the necessary fine motor skills to safely make it there. And even if you didn’t have much to drink one night, you may have trace amounts of alcohol in your blood from the night before, which could cause your BAC to register higher than you expect.

A DWI charge can make things that once were easy to do inconvenient. A conviction can have an even greater impact on your future, though. It’s wise to seek legal guidance to protect your rights.