Which foods and drinks can impact blood alcohol levels?

On Behalf of | May 17, 2024 | Criminal Defense |

Small choices that someone makes throughout the day can affect their life in ways they can’t reasonably foresee. For example, the foods and beverages that someone enjoys could directly lead to their prosecution for an impaired driving offense.

Obviously, the consumption of a glass of wine, a cocktail or a beer can increase someone’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC). The average adult can tolerate roughly one alcoholic beverage per hour without putting themselves at risk of drunk driving accusations. Depending on what else someone has consumed during the day, they may find that breath test results show that they are over the legal limit. +

Eating proactively can lower someone’s BAC

One of the biggest mistakes people make when enjoying alcohol in a social setting is the failure to eat before consuming alcohol. Drinking on an empty stomach means that there’s no food to delay the absorption of alcohol. People can go from sober to drunk relatively quickly on an empty stomach. Eating before drinking and while drinking can help reduce someone’s BAC.

Certain items can increase BAC

People generally know when beverages contain alcohol, but there are certain drinks that they might enjoy without thinking about the consequences. Kombucha, for example, is a fermented beverage with a low level of alcohol. Especially when enjoying someone’s homemade kombucha, there could be an unusually high amount of alcohol in the drink.

Baked goods might have some alcohol left behind by the fermentation process of yeast. Some meals and desserts include alcohol as a key flavoring component. Often, these dishes involve baking or starting a fire to burn off the alcohol, but some of it may still be present when someone enjoys their meal.

Additionally, it is worth noting that there are also certain medications and hygiene practices that could alter someone’s BAC. Using an asthma inhaler right before getting pulled over might lead to a false positive on a breath test. Breath sprays, mouthwash and even some over-the-counter medications could also affect someone’s BAC test results.

Those who don’t understand how they failed a breath test may need to look at alternate explanations as they prepare to fight impaired driving charges. Learning more about what can affect BAC testing may benefit those accused of drunk driving, accordingly.