Factors that Can Affect Your Blood Alcohol Content

Drinking and driving is considered a top safety issue in Pennsylvania. According to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, there were 49,730 DUI arrests statewide in 2018. Pennsylvania's DUI law prohibits driving with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or more. When you drink alcohol, your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level rises. However, the rate at which the BAC level rises varies from one person to another and is affected by different factors.

For over 20 years, I have devoted my career to handling criminal cases and defending clients facing drunk driving charges. As a skilled Pennsylvania criminal defense attorney, I will review and investigate all the details of your case, discuss the factors that affect your blood alcohol content, and outline an effective defense strategy in pursuit of the best possible outcome for your personal situation. Also, I will fight vigorously to protect your legal rights and dispute the allegations against you with substantial evidence.

My firm – The Law Offices of John Della Rocca – proudly serves clients throughout Philadelphia, Montgomery County, Delaware County, Pennsylvania as well as communities throughout New Jersey.

Understanding Blood Alcohol Content

Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) can be described as the amount of alcohol present in a person's bloodstream. A BAC of 0.10% means that a person's bloodstream has one part alcohol for every 1000 parts of blood. In the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, driving or being in actual physical control of a motor vehicle while having a BAC of 0.08% or more is prohibited.

Factors That Can Affect Your Blood Alcohol Content

Consuming alcohol, no matter how small the amount, causes your BAC level to rise. However, the rate at which your BAC increases usually varies from one person to another. Here are some factors that affect blood alcohol content:

Weight/Height: The more you weigh, the more the amount of water you will have in your body. Since water dissolves alcohol, individuals who weigh more are likely to be less affected by a given amount of alcohol.

Gender: The enzyme dehydrogenase is responsible for breaking down alcohol in the stomach. Men have more dehydrogenase, more water, and less fat compared to women. Hence, if they consume the same quantity of alcohol, a woman is likely to have a higher BAC level than a man.

Rate of Consumption: The faster you consume alcohol, the quicker your BAC level will rise.

Medications: Medications can also increase your BAC level or result in a false positive reading. These include asthma medications, over-the-counter medications, cold medications, oral gel, mouthwashes, and breath sprays.

Age: Your age also affects your blood alcohol content. As you age, your ability to metabolize alcohol declines. Therefore, an older adult will generally have a higher BAC level than a younger adult for the same intake of alcohol.

Food Intake: What's more, food reduces alcohol absorption in the bloodstream. Therefore, consuming alcohol without previously eating may result in higher BAC levels.

Health Disorders: There are also several medical conditions that affect BAC levels. Health disorders such as acid reflux, Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), and diabetes can cause you to register an inflated BAC level.

Tolerance for Alcohol: Your alcohol tolerance indicates how sensitive your body is to the effects of alcohol and varies from person to person. Those with a high tolerance for alcohol generally aren’t as intoxicated as those having a low tolerance after consuming alcohol. 

Criminal Defense Experience You Can Trust

Different factors can impact how quickly your BAC level rises after consuming alcohol. Any of these can cause a false positive test result even if you only consumed a small amount of alcohol. Therefore, if you have reason to believe that your BAC level registered falsely or is higher than it really is, consulting with a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney is imperative to help protect your rights and craft an effective defense strategy for your unique circumstances.

At The Law Offices of John Della, I'm committed to providing comprehensive legal guidance and reliable representation to clients facing DUI charges. As your attorney, I can review all of the facts of your case, determine whether your DUI tests were accurate, and explore your possible defenses. Using my extensive experience, I will help you navigate the Pennsylvania criminal justice system and attempt to get your charges dismissed or reduced to a less serious offense. Having me on your side can maximize your chances of a better tomorrow.

Contact my firm – The Law Offices of John Della Rocca – today to schedule a one-on-one case evaluation with an experienced DUI defense attorney. I can fight aggressively to protect your rights and ensure that you're given fair treatment in every phase of the legal proceedings. I'm proud to represent clients throughout Philadelphia, Montgomery County, and Delaware County, Pennsylvania.


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