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Is it safe to drive yet? It depends on the amount of alcohol

Alcohol affects everyone differently. True, there are commonalities among people who drink alcohol. For instance, the more you drink the more drunk you get.

However, the similarities tend to end there. You may know someone who gets a buzz from one drink while someone else you know could have a few drinks before reaching the same point. Even so, alcohol tends to behave in the same manner in everybody.

Metabolizing alcohol

When you have a drink, it moves into your digestive system but not in the same way as other food and drink. With each drink you have, around 20 percent of it goes directly from your stomach into your bloodstream and then to your brain. The remainder then continues to move through your digestive system before entering your bloodstream. Before leaving your body through your bladder, the alcohol is cleansed from your body through your liver.

This process takes an average of about an hour -- for one drink. If you have more than one drink within that period or your body has issues metabolizing alcohol, you could find yourself intoxicated before you realize it.

Variables that affect the ability to metabolize alcohol

As already mentioned, alcohol affects everyone differently. Those differences are often based on the factors listed below:

  • Your weight
  • The medications you take
  • Your age
  • If you have several drinks in a short span of time
  • If you suffer from liver disease
  • If you drink on an empty stomach

The type of alcohol you drink also affects how quickly you get drunk. A shot of Tequila packs a bigger punch than a glass of wine or a mug of beer. You might reduce its affects by drinking water, but water doesn't lower your blood alcohol concentration, so you could still find yourself in trouble. Eating something could help absorb some of the alcohol but not all of it. Drinking caffeinated beverages only makes you an awake drunk. It doesn't sober you up.

Unless people understand exactly how alcohol affects them and exactly how long it takes them to be considered sober again, they may get behind the wheel impaired. If that happens, you could become an unsuspecting victim of another person's bad judgment. Your life could change forever in that instant, and you may benefit from discussing the situation with an attorney who can advise you regarding pursuing compensation from the other driver.

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