An article from yesterday’s Wall Street Journal caught our eye - Testing the Limits of Tipsy.

As the article discusses, alcohol affects individuals differently. A person’s blood alcohol level may be affected by their age, weight, gender, physical condition, amount of food consumed, and any drugs or medications they are currently taking. In addition, different drinks may contain different amounts of alcohol, so it is important to know yourself, what you are consuming, and pay attention to the rate you are drinking.

Factors that can affect Blood Alcohol Concentration include:

  • Amount consumed
  • Concentration of alcohol
  • Pace of drinking – the faster you drink, the higher your BAC
  • Food in stomach (Food in the stomach slows the absorption of alcohol)
  • Body weight (more body weight, lower BAC)
  • Gender – BAC rises faster for females than it does for males
  • % of body fat (more body fat, lower BAC)
  • Gastric alcohol dehydrogenase (enzymes in the stomach that break down alcohol)
  • Carbonation – Carbonation irritates stomach lining, increasing the rate of absorption
  • Health status of liver – healthy livers can break down alcohol quicker

With this many factors, the best course of action is always to take it safe. Put simply, if you plan to drink, don’t plan to drive.