When Does Blood Alcohol Concentration Peak?

When you consume alcohol, your BAC changes based on the rate of “absorption” of the alcohol into your system.  Absorption is the process by which alcohol moves into your bloodstream. There are several factors, including speed of ingestion, strength of alcohol, and cigarette smoking, that affect your body’s rate of absorption of alcohol.

Some studies have indicated that how quickly or slowly you consume alcohol plays a significant role in your BAC. For instance, if you drink a large amount of alcohol in a short period of time, your pyloric valve, a ring of muscle that allows food to pass through your stomach, may seize, slowing the rate of absorption. On the other hand, if you consume alcohol slowly over an extended period of time, your liver is able to eliminate the alcohol as it is being absorbed, thereby reducing your BAL.

Because your rate of consumption has a significant impact on your BAC, you should closely monitor how many drinks you have over a given period of time. Your Milwaukee DUI lawyer probably knows many stories of clients who were not mindful of their consumption and allowed their BAC to reach a high level. Clients often tell stories of drinking relatively slowly over an extended period of time and then rapidly drinking one or two drinks before leaving an establishment. This type of consumption may cause a spike in BAC.

Not surprisingly, the strength of the alcohol you drink also plays a role in your BAC. Consumption of beverages with high alcohol concentrations may cause the pyloric valve to seize, delaying absorption by hours. Conversely, drinks with lower alcohol content such as mixed drinks tend to be absorbed much more quickly. Further, the volume of alcohol consumed at one time affects BAC. A high dose of alcohol may slow bowel motility and delay emptying of the alcohol from the stomach. This is less likely to occur if you consume the alcohol in lower doses.

Finally, cigarette smoking has an effect on your BAC. Cigarette smoking slows stomach emptying and correspondingly delays maximum absorption of the alcohol.

Some people encounter trouble with law enforcement because they are unaware of the different variables affecting BAC. To protect yourself, it is important to remember that your BAC will change at a different rate each time you consume alcohol based the above factors and many others.

For assistance with your case or for further information regarding BAC, please contact Milwaukee DUI lawyers Vanden, Heuvel & Dineen.