Factors Affecting Your Alcohol Absorption Rate
It well known that the rate of alcohol absorption and elimination from the body varies among individual peopl and depends on a number of factors including age, physical condition, gender, the amount of food in the stomach, the presence of prescription drugs or other substances in the system, liver volume, genetics, type of alcohol consumed, and drinking pattern among other factors.
It’s common knowledge that food intake affects your rate of alcohol absorption and elimination. The amount and type of food you consume has an effect on your alcohol metabolism. Your Chicago DUI Lawyer cautions that if you drink on an empty stomach, the alcohol might be absorbed into your blood stream within 15 minutes to 2.5 hours. A BAC (Blood Alcohol Concentration) test will sooner reveal a peak BAC level in you than in those who have consumed their drinks on a full stomach.
Any attorney knows that any food in the stomach can help absorb alcohol and delay its entry into the small intestine where most of the alcohol absorption into your bloodstream occurs. Even consuming a moderate amount of food could delay your alcohol absorption times to between 30 minutes and 3 hours. Drinking on a full stomach can push that timing back to between 3 and 6 hours.
We understand that your peak BAC level and your chances of failing a BAC chemical test will be lower when you consume alcohol with food in your stomach. A lower peak BAC level also helps you to eliminate alcohol from your body more quickly. Consuming alcohol along with food can increase the rate of alcohol clearance from your body by one to two hours and increase your rate of alcohol metabolism by 36% to 50%.
Alcohol Consumption Rate
A high rate of alcohol consumption over a brief period of time strongly affects your alcohol absorption rate and your ability to eliminate the alcohol quickly from your system. This Illinois DUI Defense Attorney emphasizes that slamming multiple drinks in a short period of time can cause your pyloric valve to seize up and delay alcohol absorption. At the same time, your liver will be overwhelmed by the amount of alcohol in the system and have greater difficulty processing it out of your body efficiently.
Strength and Type of Alcohol
Mixed drinks could cause your pyloric valve to spasm, increasing the rate of alcohol absorption. Higher concentrations of alcohol also could have a negative affect on your pyloric valve. Lower doses of alcohol accelerate the emptying of your stomach and the absorption of alcohol into the bloodstream, resulting in a lower peak BAC that is achieved more quickly. Higher doses of alcohol slow bowel motility and delay your stomach from emptying. This results in a delayed rate of alcohol absorption but a higher peak BAC.
Physical Conditions Affecting Your Alcohol Absorption Rate
Regular alcohol consumption increases your chances of an inflamed stomach lining (gastritis) and of Helicobacter pylori (H-pylori) infections. Gastritis and gastric ulcers could increase your rate of alcohol absorption. Cancers and gastric fibrosis tend to produce the opposite result. H.-pylori can significantly reduce the rate of alcohol metabolism in your body and lead to gastritis or gastric mucosal injury, which decreases your level of alcohol dehyrogenase activity. Alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH) is the enzyme that helps break down and metabolize alcohol in your body. Physiological states like shock, fear, and trauma can reduce your rate of alcohol absorption into the bloodstream, as blood flow is diverted away from the stomach to cope with your state of heightened alert. Surgeries such as a gastric bypass can also strongly affect your rate of alcohol absorption. A gastric bypass curtails the length of your digestive tract and the time that substances spend within it. So maximum BAC can be 15% higher and peak alcohol absorption can occur in as little as 10 minutes in people with a gastric bypass.
Other Factors Affecting Alcohol Absorption in the Body
Age: Lean muscle mass decreases with age, so older people might reach a higher peak BAC than younger drinkers. Older people also tend to have a lower level of ADH activity, so less alcohol gets metabolized in the stomach. Therefore more alcohol eventually enters the bloodstream.
Gender: On average, women’s bodies contain less fluid and more fat than men’s bodies. Women also tend to have a smaller size, lower weight, and lower ADH enzyme activity than men. So drinking the same amount of alcohol in the same period of time, a woman will tend to reach a higher peak BAC level than a man.
Smoking: Cigarette smoking tends to slow the rate at which your stomach empties and delay the rate at which your bloodstream absorbs alcohol.
Drugs: Some drugs inhibit ADH activity and alcohol metabolism in the stomach. These drugs include: aspirin, ibuprofen, Zantac (ranitidine), and Tagamet (cimetidine).
Erythromycin seems to increase the rate your stomach empties while it simultaneously slows the passage of contents through the intestine. This can have a double whammy effect that increases both your alcohol absorption rate and the total amount of alcohol absorbed into your bloodstream
Some drugs, primarily used as antacids and amino acids, decrease the rate at which your stomach empties and reduces alcohol absorption. These drugs are: alanine, glycine, glycylglycine, and glycylglycylglycine.
Contact Chicago DUI Lawyer Michael P. Schmiege
We are aware that the number and interplay of the factors affecting your alcohol absorption rates could have a strong bearing on the outcome of your DUI case. The rate of alcohol absorption, distribution throughout the body, and elimination from the system varies from individual to individual. Using the scientific data on these matters in your defense involves complex considerations. Using the data incorrectly could negatively affect your defense. You need to consult with an experienced attorney before you do anything else. Michael Schmiege offers a free initial case evaluation consultation to discuss your case and the various factors that might work in your favor. Call today.