How Alcohol Intoxication Works

Some think that once you drink in excess, and get pulled over by a police officer, the game is over. You will be charged, you might as well plead guilty, and you’ll face penalties. Nothing is further from the truth. Yes, there are instances where even a strong DUI defense cannot limit charges, yet those are quite rare. You should always question what happened. How do you do that? You hire an experienced DUI lawyer to defend you.

And if you’ve been drinking, it’s does not always mean you are guilty. There are many considerations to be made in how much you drink, what you drank, what you ate, when you drank, what you weigh, and whether you are a man or woman. Unfortunately, many DUI tests, especially the breath test, cannot account for many of these factors.

Alcohol Absorption
Simply drinking does not mean you will be intoxicated when driving. If you drink, then go drive, the alcohol may not have fully been absorbed into your blood. It takes time for alcohol to be taken into your blood and then have an affect on your body.

In Your Blood

Alcohol is also eliminated from your body. It’s not good for you, so your liver takes care of it. If you are very healthy, the alcohol will quite often be taken out of your bloodstream. If you drink in extreme excess, of course that is another story. But the point here is that alcohol may not even be in your blood stream. A blood test, designed to prove guilt, may prove innocence here.

Breath Tests and Weight
If you are heavier, alcohol will have less affect. If you are thinner or smaller, it will have more affect. This is important because breathalyzer test do not factor in whether you are heavy or light. Also, if you are in shape with a lot of muscle, that means alcohol has less affect on you. On the other hand, if you are big, have a lot of body fat, and drink in excess, alcohol will have more affect. Again, breathalyzer tests cannot differentiate between body weight and body type.

What did you eat?
If you ate a lot of food while drinking, that too can influence your alcohol level. Food both helps eliminate alcohol from the blood and slows the process of intoxication. If you ate nothing, drank some shots and beers, then you are likely intoxicated to some point. If you ate a full meal with  a moderate amount of beer, that may be different.

Did you take medicine or mix drugs?
If you are medication, most labels explain you should not mix your medicine with alcohol, especially at the same time. If you take a pill for depression or anxiety and then mix it with some alcohol, you will definitely be affected. Even if you drank under the legal limit – .08 in all states – you can be charged with a DUI if drugs are found in your system along with alcohol.

Tolerance Questions

While you may think you have a strong tolerance for alcohol, on blood and breath tests it won’t matter. You drink 10 beers, feel fine, and drive, then are pulled over. You may pass field sobriety tests such as walking in a straight line, but fail the breathalyzer. That’s all an officer needs to arrest you.

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