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Various factors affect how fast your BAC rises

On Behalf of | Oct 21, 2022 | DWI

If you have had a long day at work, there may be a temptation to stop off for a drink or two before driving home. However, this decision can have unwanted consequences if it results in a driving while intoxicated charge.

According to the Indiana University of Pennsylvania, it takes an average of two to four drinks to reach a blood alcohol level of .08. However, this information may cause someone to misjudge the number of drinks it takes to reach this level. Because many factors affect the rate of intoxication, it can result in an individual driving when he or she should not.

Weight and gender

The more a person weighs, the more beverages it generally takes to increase BAC levels. This means that most men are able to drink more, and higher levels of alcohol dehydrogenase also contribute to this fact.

Rate of consumption

How fast someone drinks, the faster they will reach the legal BAC limit. That is why sipping is smarter than chugging.

Amount of food in stomach

According to the University of Notre Dame Student Well-Being McDonald Center, having food in the stomach slows the absorption of alcohol. It is also best to consume foods high in protein.

Type of alcoholic beverage

Certain beverages contain higher amounts of alcohol. For example, beers can vary greatly depending on the specific type. Carbonated beverages, such as sparkling wine or sodas used as mixes, also increase the rate of absorption.


Mood also affects the absorption and metabolism of alcohol. If you feel anxious, depressed or angry, you will reach a BAC of .08 faster.

One thing that does not affect BAC levels is tolerance. Someone who drinks alcohol on a regular basis probably has a greater tolerance and can drink more than someone else before feeling the effects, but the BAC will increase as normal.