Many drivers in North Carolina are aware that the legal BAC limit in the state is .08. However, there are a variety of factors that affect this limit which means that some can drink more than others before reaching the legal limit. Knowing what these factors are may help you make smarter choices when it comes to drinking, especially if driving is involved.
According to Loyola Marymount University, the number of drinks you have makes a big difference in blood alcohol content. However, even the type of drink plays a factor in BAC. Hard alcohol tends to have a greater effect than wine or beer. Plus, a mixed drink at a restaurant may only contain one shot of liquor while a mixed drink at a friend’s house may contain a lot more.
Eating food while drinking slows the rate of alcohol going into the bloodstream, so this plays a role in how long or how many drinks it may take to reach an illegal limit. Drinking when you are sick or tired can lead to a higher BAC faster because of dehydration and decreased liver function. The percent of fat a person has also plays a factor in how alcohol affects someone. People with higher fat content will reach a higher BAC faster.
People who drink more frequently may have a higher tolerance to alcohol than those who drink occasionally. However, the University of North Carolina warns that tolerance does not affect BAC. This can be dangerous in a number of ways, especially if someone is planning to drive. To ensure a DWI is not in your future, the smartest thing is to take alternative transportation if you plan on drinking at all.