A Milwaukee DUI attorney explains how food can affect alcohol absorption

If you are facing a DUI trial, it’s important to know about any possible factors that could have affected your blood-alcohol concentration (BAC). In this article, a Milwaukee DUI attorney shows how food can decrease alcohol absorption.

The chemistry of how alcohol is absorbed, distributed, and eliminated in your body is quite complex, and it’s different from person to person. This is because of distinct genetic and environmental factors that include: gender, ethnicity, weight, degree of food consumption, and the volume of your liver.

Another factor is what kind of alcohol you have consumed. How fast alcohol gets absorbed from your small intestine can vary depending on the time of day you drank, your pattern of drinking, your dosage, the concentration of alcohol in your drink, and whether there was food already in the stomach.

How food affects alcohol consumption

The type of food and the quantity of food that are present in your digestive tract when you consume alcohol have the most direct effect on the rate of alcohol absorption.

When you consume alcohol on an empty stomach, the alcohol is usually absorbed in the blood within fifteen minutes to two-and-a-half hours. If you have a moderate amount of food in your stomach when you drink, that speed slows down to thirty minutes to three hours. If you’re drinking on a full stomach, alcohol absorption ranges from three to six hours.

Stomach emptying time is a major component of alcohol absorption time. Anything that’s in the stomach acts like a sponge, soaking in the alcohol and delaying alcohol’s movement into the small intestine. (The small intestine is where most of the alcohol absorption occurs.) The presence of food slows down the stomach emptying time for alcohol and thus decreases the amount of alcohol that is available to pass into the bloodstream. This affects the amount of alcohol that reaches the duodenum and the liver.

Your peak BAC is lower when you have food in your stomach than when you don’t have food. A person who has a lower peak alcohol level will take less time to eliminate alcohol from his or her body than someone who has a higher peak level. Thus, if you eat food while you’re consuming alcohol, you can speed up your body’s alcohol elimination time by one to two hours. This occurs because your alcohol metabolism rate is faster by 36% to 50% when you have a full stomach, as opposed to an empty one.

Keep in mind that different types of food also have an effect on alcohol absorption. Since everyone has different body types, it’s difficult to predict exactly how a certain meal will affect a certain person, however.

If you have been arrested for a DUI and need the help of an experienced Milwaukee DUI attorney, do not hesitate to fill the form on this page to contact Vanden Heuvel & Dineen, S.C., for a free initial consultation.