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How quickly does alcohol metabolize in the body?

by | Oct 8, 2021 | DWI Defense

The way alcohol metabolizes in your body can have a major effect on your case if you’re accused of a DWI. Driving while intoxicated is against the law, but you can only be convicted if it can be proven that you were impaired at the time of the traffic stop.

Your metabolism could play a role in helping you avoid a DWI conviction. How? By being able to calculate how fast an average drink will metabolize in your body, you can prove or disprove that you were impaired at a certain time.

How quickly does alcohol metabolize?

The length of time that alcohol will stay in your body will depend on your weight, health and other factors. On average, though, your liver is able to metabolize around one standard drink per hour (if you are male).

How can that help your case? Think about how much you’ve had to drink. If you have had three drinks and blow .08% during the traffic stop, you could face an arrest and conviction for those findings. On the other hand, if you refuse the test and it takes a few hours to get a blood test ordered, the blood test may not show that you have any alcohol left in your system. It would then be difficult to prove that you had anything in your system at the time of the arrest.

Similarly, if the blood test comes back showing you’re at .04%, you could calculate backward and find that you were likely well over .08% at the time of the arrest. So, knowing your metabolism can help you decide if you should take a breath test and what the results are likely to be.

On top of this, you have to remember that alcohol doesn’t affect everyone right away. You could be driving feeling completely sober since alcohol doesn’t usually cause effects until 15 to 45 minutes have passed. Showing that you weren’t impaired could be paramount to having the case dismissed.

These are a few things to keep in mind as you think about defending against a DWI. Understanding the body’s metabolism and how alcohol can affect you may help you fight back.