Driving under the influence is a crime associated with severe penalties. These consequences can include the requirement to pay a fine, jail time, elevated insurance premiums and the loss of your driving privileges.
In Texas, according to the Texas Department of Transportation, you could face charges for DWI if your blood alcohol concentration level reaches or exceeds 0.08%. But it can be difficult to tell if you have reached this legal limit since many factors can affect how quickly your BAC level rises.
Rate of consumption
The faster you consume alcohol, the faster your BAC level will rise. For most people, the liver metabolizes one alcoholic beverage per hour. If you drink faster than this rate, more alcohol will remain in your bloodstream.
Food in your stomach
When you have food in your stomach, alcohol will travel into your bloodstream at a slower rate than if you consumed alcohol on an empty stomach, keeping your BAC level at a lower threshold. This occurs because any food in your stomach prevents the alcohol from traveling directly into your small intestine, where most alcohol enters your blood stream.
Medications you take
Certain medications can amplify the effects of alcohol in your system. Some of these include antidepressants, cough medicines, aspirin and tranquilizers.
Other factors that can impact how quickly your BAC level rises include your age, weight, gender and the type of alcoholic beverages you consume. These factors do not stop your body from processing the alcohol but may only impact how quickly you experience effects.