You’ve seen the charts. Broken down by body weight and gender, alcohol impairment charts give you a rough idea of how much someone can drink before the alcohol affects their driving skills or they become legally drunk.
Can you trust them? Not exactly. Alcohol impairment charts provide some helpful perspective, and that’s about all. It may be useful to know, for example, that anyone (male or female) who weighs 100 pounds will likely be halfway to legally drunk by the time they finish just one drink — while someone who weighs closer to 240 pounds may be able to consume two or three drinks before they feel the same effects.
But your weight and your gender aren’t the only factors that control how alcohol affects you. Some other important factors that can affect your intoxication levels include:
- Your age: If you feel like you’ve become “a lightweight” as you’ve gotten older, you probably aren’t imagining it. Age can make the effects of alcohol more apparent.
- Your body type: If you’re relatively fit, your body may process your alcohol faster than someone a little heavier.
- Your other health conditions: Diabetics can experience hypoglycemia after drinking, and medications for other conditions can also interact with alcohol to create a stronger effect.
- The type of drink you’re drinking: If you like a little soda with your whiskey or prefer a nice, frothy beer, that carbonation can make you absorb alcohol into your system faster than normal.
- Your emotions: If you’re stressed or excited, your body naturally diverts blood flow away from your stomach and digestion and toward other parts of your body. When the excitement fades, all that alcohol you’ve been drinking may kick in a lot harder.
It’s always best not to take chances. If you’ve been drinking, get a ride home. If you make a mistake, however, don’t let it ruin your life and your chances for the future: Get an experienced defense attorney by your side.