Know Your Alcohol Limits Before You Get Behind the Wheel
If you have been drinking and you are wondering if you are still safe to drive, then the answer is probably a resounding, “No!” Different apps and personal breathalyzers help give you a better idea, however. If you are wondering about your alcohol limits before becoming intoxicated, then consider these tips.
Ponder Alcohol Content
Different drinks have different alcohol content with those having a higher alcohol content getting you drunk faster than those with lower content. Most beers have an alcohol content ranging between four and six percent, however, some breweries have perfected techniques allowing them to make beers having up to 27 percent alcohol content. Many wines have 11 percent alcohol content, while spirits often have at least 20 percent. One of the highest alcohol content drinks is vodka with up to 40 percent alcohol. As a general rule, 1.5 ounces of hard liquor is equivalent to five ounces of wine or 12 ounces of beer.
Think About Your Body Build
Generally, the more a person weighs, the more space the alcohol has to diffuse in the body. This often allows people who weigh more to drink more. However, people who have more body fat often get drunk faster because alcohol has a harder time passing through fat than through water. An athlete who weighs 180 pounds is more likely to have higher alcohol limits and stay sober than a person who doesn’t exercise and weighs 180 pounds. The amount of available water space in the body also accounts for why shorter people often get drunk faster than taller people.
Consider Your Food
Generally, consuming a meal with alcohol can delay and lessen its effects. The effect of the alcohol can take between one and six hours to hit the body when drank with a full meal. The alcohol’s effect can be up to 23 percent less if consumed with a full meal. When alcohol is consumed alone, the effect of alcohol usually hits the body within 30 to 120 minutes. Therefore, if you are thinking of having a martini with your meal, you may feel fine. Yet, if you drink it without food, then you may feel it affecting you more.
Know Your Sex
The idea that it is easier for a woman to get drunk than a man has long been accepted as a fact. For eons, people thought metabolism was the cause. Researchers at the University of Texas working with a team of international scientists found that was not true. Everybody’s metabolizes alcohol at the rate of 0.016 percent per hour. Women, however, do not have as much gastric alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH) isozymes in their stomachs, so they get drunk faster. Since women get drunk faster, their blood alcohol limits often remain lower allowing them to get sober faster.
Knowing Your Alcohol Limits Can Save Lives
If you drink, be careful. Don’t allow yourself to drive if you have hit the limit. To be safe, just practice never driving after having any alcohol intake. If you do, then you might end up with a DWI and needing a lawyer, like Thomas A. Corletta.
Hannah Whittenly is a freelance writer and mother of two from Sacramento, CA. She graduated from the University of California-Sacramento with a degree in Journalism.