What factors affect how quickly blood alcohol content rises?

There are many factors that impact how quickly blood alcohol content levels rise, including age, weight and gender.

Most drivers in Virginia recognize that when they drive with a blood alcohol content level above 0.08, they risk getting arrested for drinking and driving and dealing with the consequences associated with a potential conviction. However, many drivers are unsure of how quickly their BAC level rises after drinking alcohol, and may inadvertently drive with a BAC level above the legal limit.

Important factors

There are several factors that impact how quickly a person's BAC level will rise after consuming alcohol. These include the following:

  • Weight--Those who weigh more will have a lower BAC level after consuming the same amount of alcohol as someone who weighs less. This is because fat cells contain water, and this water can dilute some of the alcohol.
  • Gender--Generally speaking, women's bodies have less water and more fat cells than men. Since alcohol has a hard time going into fat cells compared with other cells, women typically keep more alcohol in their bloodstream.
  • Number of drinks consumed--The more a person drinks, the higher his or her BAC level will be.
  • Age--After consuming one alcoholic beverage, an older person will have a higher BAC level than a younger one.

Whether or not a person has eaten can also impact the rate at which his or her BAC level rises. This happens because after eating, the food can absorb some alcohol within the stomach.

Consequences of a DUI

Those who are arrested for drinking and driving for having a BAC level above the legal limit may have concerns about the consequences they face. According to the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles, the severity of these penalties depends on how many prior DUI convictions are on a person's record.

For example, after being convicted on DUI charges for the first time, offenders have to pay a mandatory, $250 fine and go without their driver's licensed for a one-year period. Comparatively, those convicted on DUI Charges for the second time have to pay a minimum, mandatory $500 fine and go without their driver's license for three years. Second-time DUI offenders may also have to spend time in jail.

Speak to an attorney

After being arrested for DUI in Virginia, drivers may worry about how the potential of a conviction could affect them financially and legally. In this situation, those arrested for DUI should contact an attorney in their area to discuss their legal rights and what steps need to be taken next.