Alcohol Absorption Factors
Popular misconceptions about alcohol and the chemistry of intoxication likely lead to many DUI convictions each year that could have been avoided through education and diligence. For instance, many people believe there to be an exact maximum number of beverages they may consume before driving, or that if no signs of intoxication are outwardly visible, they must be okay to drive. Your Orange County DUI lawyer will explain that multiple other factors affect your level of intoxication, so that you can watch out for them and continue to drive safely.
The Chemistry of Intoxication
The chemistry of alcohol distribution, absorption, and elimination is complicated and changes from person to person.A number of genetic and environmental factors contribute to this variability, including gender, food consumption, body composition, liver volume, and ethnicity.The type of alcohol that was consumed also contributes to the variability.
Your Orange County DUI lawyer knows that the time of day, dosage form, drinking pattern, concentration of alcohol in the beverage, and the presence of food in the stomach can all influence the degree and speed of absorption of alcohol from the small intestine.
A Lot Depends on Your Stomach
The most direct and measureable effect on the rate of alcohol absorption is made by the amount and type of food present in the digestive tract.Any material present in the stomach can behave like a sponge and slow the movement of alcohol into the small intestine where the bulk of absorption takes place.Food in the stomach not only slows the emptying of alcohol, but also reduces the availability of alcohol in the blood stream.The result is that the volume of alcohol reaching the duodenum and liver is greatly variable.
Peak blood alcohol concentration is lower when the stomach has food than when it is empty.A person with a lower peak alcohol level will clear alcohol from the body faster than one who has a higher peak level, because the maximum concentration reached is less.When alcohol is consumed with food, the alcohol clearance may increase by 1 to 2 hours, and the rate of alcohol metabolism may increase by between 36% and 50%, compared to alcohol consumption without food.
If you have been charged with a DUI, consult an experienced Orange County DUI lawyer at Coffey and Coffey. Call (800) 706-7888 to schedule an initial consultation today.