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Many factors can affect an Oregon driver’s blood alcohol content level

There are many different factors, like gender and weight, that can affect a person’s blood alcohol concentration level after consuming alcohol.

When a person in Oregon consumes an alcoholic beverage, the alcohol is absorbed into the walls of his or her stomach as well as his or her small intestine, states the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Then, the alcohol eventually makes its way into the bloodstream and travels to the person's brain and to the rest of his or her body. After this occurs, the person's blood alcohol content level is determined by the amount of alcohol that is in his or her system compared with a definite amount of blood.

Important factors

Although alcohol is typically absorbed into the bloodstream 30 to 70 minutes after an alcoholic beverage is consumed, there are many different factors that can affect how quickly this process occurs. According to the NHTSA, these include some of the following:

  • The amount of food in the person's stomach - when a person has had something to eat, his or her BAC level will likely be lower than if he or she did not have any food in his or her stomach.
  • The person's gender - compared with men, women typically have more body fat per pound and less water in their bodies. Since alcohol has a difficult time making its way into fat cells, alcohol will remain in the blood of a woman longer than a man.
  • The person's weight - water can dilute alcohol and lower a person's BAC level. Due to this, the more a person weighs, the lower his or her BAC level will be.
  • How quickly the alcohol was consumed - when a person consumes alcohol at a rapid rate, he or she will reach a higher BAC level than if he or she had drank it over a longer period of time.

Although some may believe that the type of alcohol consumed has an impact on how quickly their BAC level rises, this is not true because most alcoholic beverages contain about the same amount of alcohol. For instance, one 12-ounce beer, one 5-ounce glass of wine and a shot of distilled spirits all contain about half an ounce of alcohol.

Determining impairment is difficult

Because there are many different factors that can impact a person's BAC level, a driver may not realize when he or she has exceeded the legal BAC limit. In Oregon, according to the Governors Highway Safety Association, a person can be arrested for drunk driving if his or her BAC level is 0.08 or higher.

Those who are convicted for DUI in Oregon face serious consequences, which may include heavy fines and jail time. If you were recently arrested for DUI, turn to an attorney to determine what legal steps you should take next.

Keywords: drunk driving, arrest, penalties, blood alcohol