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Rate of Alcohol Consumption and Your BAC (Part A)

When you drink alcohol, there is a direct correlation between your rate of consumption and your blood alcohol content (BAC) level. This is because when alcohol is consumed, it is rapidly absorbed into your body's bloodstream, much faster than your body can eliminate it.  This also means that if you consume alcohol at a rapid pace, much faster than your body can eliminate it, then alcohol will accumulate in your bloodstream and your BAC will increase.

Your Body's Distribution of Alcohol

When alcohol is absorbed into the body, it is rapidly carried to tissues and organs by traveling through the bloodstream. As it travels, the alcohol will be diluted by the water in your body. The more body water you have, the more diluted the alcohol will become. Therefore, those who weigh more, and have a higher body water content, will be less affected by alcohol. However, a high rate of consumption will eventually lead to drunkenness, and if you are caught driving in Virginia with a BAC of .08 or above, then you will be arrested for Virginia DUI.

Your Body's Elimination of Alcohol

Your liver will eliminate 95% of the alcohol that you ingest. The rest is eliminated through your breath, urine, sweat, feces and saliva. Generally, a healthy person will eliminate one average drink (.5 oz) of alcohol per hour. However, this rate can be affected by the amount of alcohol in your bloodstream. If your rate of consumption is very high or very low, then your body may eliminate it much more quickly. The body's ability to eliminate alcohol will also diminish with age. Therefore, the older you are, the more you should slow your rate of consumption.

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Bob Battle
100% of my practice is devoted to serious traffic defense and criminal litigation in state and federal courts