Blood alcohol content, or BAC, is a measurement by volume of alcohol in your body. It can be taken with a blood test or with a breathalyzer. Here is a helpful chart for understanding what the numbers mean:
An individual's BAC is subject to many variables, and cannot be determined simply by counting the number of drinks consumed. Alcohol absorbs into your body in your intestines, and it absorbs at a constant rate, no matter how fast or slow you drink. Here are some handy facts to remember:
- Hydrating yourself by drinking non-alcoholic and non-caffeinated drinks throughout the night will slow your drinking pace, help prevent hangovers, and generally keep you from going overboard.
- Body mass is a big factor in determining tolerance. Bodies with lots of muscle can tolerate more alcohol than bodies with lots of fat.
- Men generally have higher tolerances than women because they naturally have more muscle mass (even if they only sit at home reading Cracked all day) and women naturally have more fat mass (boobies).
- It takes about an hour for a drink to take full effect, and about another hour for it to disappear from your system.
- Regular drinking can increase your tolerance. It's like exercise for your liver.
- Asians are genetically predisposed to having very low alcohol tolerance. Native Americans are predisposed to having very high tolerance. There are exceptions to each, of course.
- Breathalyzers can be bought for personal use either online, or at various gadget stores. They are actually a lot of fun at parties. Just don't let anyone try to beat the 0.914 record.