You did all the right things when enjoying a night out. You drank responsibly, used a rideshare to get home. Unfortunately, you still found yourself under arrest for drunk driving – the next morning. Understanding the factors that affect blood alcohol concentration (BAC) and how alcohol is absorbed and processed through your body may help you avoid a next-day DUI in Pennsylvania.

Used as the primary evidence in many DUI cases, BAC is the percentage of alcohol in your blood. Although the strength of the drinks you have, as well as the number, play a role in determining your BAC, there are several other factors that also contribute. According to AAA, the factors that affect your BAC level include your gender, body weight, whether you have eaten anything and the amount of time you spend drinking. Because of these factors, people may drink the same amount but have different BAC levels.

Like others, you may think sleeping, showering or having some coffee will help you sober up from the effects of alcohol. However, time is the only thing that helps. As soon as alcohol reaches your bloodstream, your body begins the process of eliminating it; doing so at an average rate of 0.15 to 0.17% each hour. Therefore, it may take between 75 and 90 minutes for your body to rid itself of the alcohol from one standard-size drink.

As you drink, your BAC level continues to rise while the alcohol is absorbed into your bloodstream. This may continue for up to 30 minutes after you have stopped drinking. If, for example, you have two drinks per hour between 9 p.m. and 1:30 a.m., you may still have a BAC level of .08 percent at 7:30 a.m. As such, you could face charges for DUI if you are pulled over by law enforcement on your way to work or school.

The information included in this post is intended for general purposes only and not as legal advice.