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How Quickly Does Your Body Metabolize Alcohol?

Jan. 28, 2020

Proving that you were driving under the influence of alcohol requires that law enforcement have some sort of measurement indicating that you were intoxicated. The results of inconclusive chemical testing cannot simply be explained away. Officials may try to cite a bevy of reasons why initial or subsequent test did not support their assumptions that you were driving drunk. Your counter to these claims comes from understanding how quickly your body metabolizes alcohol.

Interestingly enough, it is the lack of precision associated with this answer that makes it such compelling evidence in your favor. A number of different factors influence your body’s metabolic rate, such as your age, gender and genetic makeup. Thus, trying to apply a general standard to all people in this regard is akin finding matching snowflakes.

Law enforcement authorities might try to argue that an initial test that does not indicate intoxication may simply be due to the alcohol you may have consumed not yet settling into your system. Yet according to information shared by the American Addiction Centers, alcohol enters into your bloodstream within 30 seconds of consumption, where it is then carried to various parts of your body which leads to the noticeable effects of intoxication. These symptoms should begin to be manifested within 15-45 minutes.

What if a test performed long after you have allegedly been drinking shows that your blood-alcohol content is within the legal limit? The officials that arrested you may try to argue that your body has had time to metabolize the alcohol, and that a lower later reading does not mean that you were not drunk when you were driving. However, studies have shown that your BAC typically lowers 0.015 per hour due to metabolism. This allows you to approximate what it was earlier based off a later test.