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Why do some people stay intoxicated longer than others?

On Behalf of | Aug 4, 2020 | Drunk Driving

Doctors note that the rate at which alcohol is metabolized or broken down in the human body is a constant. This suggests that everyone should have the same impact on their system for the same amount of time. If you and a group of friends all go out for drinks, you should all be safe to drive at once. 

We know from experience, of course, that this doesn’t happen. You may still feel heavily buzzed when all of your friends are fine. Or, perhaps you’ve been at a social gathering where you drank the same amount as a friend and you barely felt it while they were very intoxicated and could barely walk. Why does alcohol hit people differently and keep them drunk for different periods of time, if the metabolic rate of the human body is supposed to be a constant?

There are a lot of factors that go into it. One, of course, is how much you each drank, but even drinking the same amount can have a different impact on different people. How much do you both weigh? Is one of you drinking on an empty stomach, while the other just had a large meal? Is there a gender difference? How much water did each of you drink along with the alcohol? How quickly did you consume the drinks? Someone who has three drinks in an evening will have a vastly different experience than someone who has three drinks in ten minutes. 

Along with all of that, you can build up an alcohol tolerance. How often you drink can vastly impact how it hits you. Failure to understand how alcohol affects different people can easily lead to mistakes — and DUI charges. Those facing such charges need to know their legal options. It’s smart to have a consultation with an experienced defense attorney as soon as possible after you are charged.