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What makes it difficult to predict alcohol impairment?

It is exactly what makes life so interesting; no two people are exactly the same. This applies to how our bodies react to alcohol.

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What may be fine for another person could easily put you over the limit. Whether out for dinner or catching up over cocktails, it is easy to drink more than you planned. It's critical, however, that you have a good understanding of how your own body reacts to alcohol. Not knowing can increase your risk for a collision and can also lead to criminal problems.

Similar functions affected by individual characteristics

Your weight, gender and genetics can all affect how your body reacts to alcohol. However, the metabolic process for breaking down alcohol and eliminating it from the body is similar. Because the amount of alcohol that your body can metabolize over an hour depends on many factors, it is dangerous to rely on averages.

Variations of enzymes passed down in your genes affect how quickly your body can break down alcohol. Research finds these variations also affect whether or not it is pleasant to drink alcohol at all.

Eating a meal slows absorption

Following the European model of drinking with a meal generally slows alcohol absorption. This is not to say that ordering a side of fries is a fail safe measure to avoid a blood alcohol content over the legal limit. The type of drink and its alcohol content will also have an impact.

With the ease of getting an Uber or taxi, it is always safer to err on the side of caution. You can always return and get your car the next day. It's cheaper than the alternative, which could include a trip through the criminal justice system.

DWI arrests

Texas police take a hard stance on impaired driving and are constantly looking for drivers who might be swerving in their lane, speeding or rolling through a stop sign. Some of these behaviors might suggest impairment, other times these could be a pretext to sniff your breath/car for any odor indicating alcohol or marijuana use.

If stopped after having a few drinks, be polite to an officer. But recognize you can refuse field sobriety testing. Don't offer information either, because you may be recorded and what you say can and will be used against you.

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