Have you ever wondered how drinking alcohol affects our bodies? Why does it take so long for alcohol to move through our systems, especially when there is a high blood alcohol concentration? It is important to educate yourself on the affects of alcohol on the body as well as knowing when enough is enough.
Alcohol is absorbed into the body through the stomach and small intestine. The alcohol flows through the bloodstream and into the body’s vital organs including the heart, liver and brain within a few minutes. The body cannot store alcohol so the liver must work hard to break it down. Since 90%-95% of alcohol consumed is metabolized by the liver alone, it can take hours to lower a person’s blood-alcohol concentration levels.
Since the metabolism process can take several hours, depending on how heavily the person drank as well as their size, it is possible to be over the BAC limit of 0.08% the morning after heavily drinking. Even six, eight or twelve hours later you could be at risk for a DWI (driving while intoxicated). Some people find it helpful to invest in a breathalyzer, which is a device that estimates your BAC by measuring the amount of alcohol in your breath. Breathalyzers, such as the Draeger 6510, don’t cost a whole lot of money and can save your life.
With over 17,000 drunk driving alcohol related deaths per year, it may be a good idea to invest in a breathalyzer. Remember though, the only safe BAC for driving is 0.00%. While anything under 0.08% is legal, that does not mean a drinker’s decision making and reaction times are not compromised.
Take some time to look at a blood alcohol concentration chart. It is important for drinkers to educate themselves about what happens at each stage of drinking. Heavily drinking over the course of many years causes a lot of damage to the body, especially the liver. If you or someone you know is addicted to alcohol, check within your local community for reach out centers available to assist you.