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A Fresno Drunk Driving Defense Attorney Explains How Alcohol Metabolizes Differently for Men and Women

You’ve been arrested for DUI and you swear you hardly had a drop to drink. Or, you don’t believe the amount you drank should have gotten you to the blood alcohol level you were at the time of driving. Many people don’t realize just how little alcohol it takes to make someone legally intoxicated. Here, we’ll explain a bit about alcohol consumption and how women and men differ when it comes to measuring the blood alcohol content.

Metabolizing Alcohol Differently
Alcohol is metabolized differently in men and women. Alcohol is also metabolized differently by each person, depending on what their metabolic rate may be as well as physiological variations. However, women, generally, have a higher blood alcohol concentration after they drink the same amount of alcohol as men. This is because women have smaller amounts of body water and less ADH (an alcohol-metabolizing compound).

Some studies, have noted that a 150-pound man may be legally intoxicated after three drinks, with a BAC of about .087. However, a woman of similar size may have a BAC of about .10 after three drinks.

If that same woman only weighed 100 pounds, she could become legally intoxicated after only two drinks. Take into account how much the person has eaten, what they ate and the type of alcohol consumed and their drinking habits. This all plays a role in their BAC. Women are also more likely to suffer from liver disease through alcoholic consumption, along with damage to the brain and heart after years of alcohol abuse.

In addition, timing of the test and timing of the drinking is critical. Alcohol doesn’t immediately absorb into your blood, it has to absorbed through your stomach lining. Depending on your metabolic rate and when you drank the alcohol, you could be under the legal limit when you were driving, but subsequently measured over the legal limit when the evidentiary chemical test (breath or blood is performed). This is what, in the DUI defense arena, is known as a rising blood alcohol defense. Since alcohol is, generally, absorbed within 45 minutes to 1 hour of drinking, recent drinking close to the time of driving could lead to such a defense.

So while you may believe you did not consume a lot to drink, keep in mind that many factors play a role in how your BAC is read. If you’ve been arrested for DUI, it’s best to hire an attorney experienced in drunk driving defense. To make an appointment, contact us today.

Gerald Schwab, Jr.


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Law Office of Gerald Schwab, Jr.
Fresno Criminal Defense Attorney
5588 N Palm Ave,
Fresno, CA 93704 View Map
Phone: 559.441.1418