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You can get a DUI without drinking a lot of alcohol

On Behalf of | Jul 20, 2020 | Criminal Law |

Most people understand that driving while intoxicated is illegal. However, many envision a driver that  had a ton to drink and can barely function. 

The DUI laws are strict, and it does not take too many drinks to reach the legal limit. Plus, there are additional factors that affect how the body metabolizes alcohol, and this can result in a DUI for someone who has barely had anything to drink. 

Oklahoma’s DUI laws 

FindLaw reports that a driver can get a DUI while under the influence of alcohol, another intoxicating substance or both, and the BAC limit is .08. Penalties for a DUI vary, but may include fines, imprisonment, alcohol testing, community service, alcohol assessment and ignition interlock installation. 

Alcohol metabolism factors 

According to the Stanford University Office of Alcohol Policy and Education, the number of alcoholic drinks required to reach a BAC of .08 can vary greatly from one person to another. This is due to the fact that numerous factors affect the absorption and metabolism of alcohol. 

Weight is one of the factors. A person who weighs more can generally drink more before reaching the legal limit. Biological sex is another factor. Males generally metabolize alcohol differently than females. One reason is often weight differences, but males also have more alcohol metabolizing enzymes than females. 

The amount of food in one’s stomach changes how fast alcohol absorbs into the bloodstream. It is better to drink on a full stomach or while eating. The rate of drinking is also important. Someone who chugs a drink or takes shot after shot will reach the legal limit faster than someone who sips a drink. 

Health also plays a role in alcohol metabolism. There are numerous medications, both prescription and over-the-counter, that have adverse effects when combined with alcohol. Some medications also impair one’s ability to operate a vehicle, and this alone can result in a DUI.