You have probably gone out to dinner with family or friends and had some drinks. You may have driven home afterward thinking you were not drunk.
Any amount of alcohol can impair your ability to drive. The safest course of action is not to drive after you have consumed alcohol. In New York, the law states that a BAC of .08% or higher is evidence of intoxication. How do you go from a few drinks to legally intoxicated?
BAC levels rise at different rates for people. If you are female, your BAC will increase faster than a man’s. Persons from specific ethnic backgrounds also experience a faster increase in BAC than others.
How quickly your BAC rises after a drink or two depends a lot on your weight. The more you weigh, the slower you get intoxicated. The amount of food in your stomach also affects your BAC. If you drink on an empty stomach, the alcohol gets absorbed faster into your bloodstream resulting in a higher BAC with a smaller amount of alcohol.
If you suffer from anxiety or depression, you can get intoxicated faster than if you do not. In addition, if you have an illness, your BAC may rise more quickly than a healthy person. Sleep is a significant factor in how drinking affects a person. If you drink while tired or sleep-deprived, the alcohol will have a more substantial impact.
Intoxication can sneak up on you. Due to the many factors involved, you should avoid all consumption of alcohol if you plan on driving.