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Analyzing how quickly alcohol can leave one’s system

On Behalf of | May 26, 2017 | DWI Defense |

Being convicted of driving while intoxicated in Houston can not only leave one facing potentially harsh criminal penalties, but it can also carry with it a stigma that affects one’s relationships, social standing, or even his or her career. Given all that is potentially at stake should one face such charges, it seems more than reasonable that he or she ensure that any supposed evidenced implicating him or her be reliable.

The answer to this question depends on how long it takes the body to metabolize alcohol. Roughly 80 percent of alcohol is absorbed by the small intestines during digestion. From there, it enters the bloodstream and is taken to liver to be metabolized. According to research data shared by the American Addiction Centers, the liver metabolizes one ounce of alcohol per hour. Other factors also influence the rate at which alcohol works its way out of one’s system, including:

  •          Age
  •          Body fat content
  •          Any medications in one’s system
  •          The fat content of any food consumed simultaneously

Taking all these factors into account, it is estimated that one’s blood alcohol content lowers .015 percent every hour after drinking.

Say one registers a BAC content of .08 (which is the legal limit in Texas) on a breathalyzer. The National Motorist Association cites study data that shows that breathalyzer test have as much as 50 percent margin for error, meaning that one who registered the aforementioned reading of .08 could in reality have a BAC as low as .03. If a subsequent blood test performed two hours later reveals his or her BAC to be .02, some may attempt to argue that simply means his or her body already metabolized the alcohol. However, based on the data above, one’s expected BAC should still be around .05 after that time.


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