When you drink alcohol, it can be hard to tell if you have reached the legal limit for blood alcohol content. In Texas, it is illegal to drive once your BAC reaches 0.08% or higher.
If you drive with a BAC level above this level, according to the Texas Department of Transportation, you could face a fine, time in jail and the loss of your driver’s license. Many factors can affect how quickly your BAC level rises while drinking, including the following.
How much you have eaten
If you have food in your stomach when you drink alcohol, this will slow the rate at which the alcohol gets absorbed into your bloodstream. For this reason, you will likely have a higher BAC level when drinking on an empty stomach than if you drank after eating.
How quickly you drink
The faster you drink alcohol, the faster your BAC level will rise. Most people’s livers can metabolize approximately one alcoholic beverage per hour, so if you drink at a pace faster than this rate, your BAC level will continue to rise.
How much body mass you have
Your weight and body type affect how your body reacts to alcohol. When two people drink the same amount, the one with less body mass will typically have higher concentrations of alcohol throughout the body.
There are several other factors that can affect how quickly your BAC level rises while consuming alcohol. These include your body fat percentage, the size of the alcoholic beverage you drink, any medications you currently take, your general alcohol tolerance and your overall stress level.