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Understanding how aging affects BAC

Alcohol affects everyone differently. Even if your blood alcohol concentration is below the legal limit of .08 percent, you may still face arrest for DUI if a police officer suspects you are under the influence. This can certainly happen to older individuals who can sometimes be more susceptible to intoxication than younger people. 

Aging already affects a person's ability to drive. Muscle stiffness and poorer vision can increase a senior citizen's risk on the road. Drinking a glass of wine may not have affected this person's capacity to drive when he or she was younger, but now, it can have a significant impact even if the driver is still below the limit. 

Bodies metabolize alcohol differently as people age

Your body's tolerance to alcohol decreases as you get older. One reason is that people's bodies lose water over time, so a given amount of alcohol can produce a higher reading for blood alcohol content (BAC). Additionally, the gastrointestinal tract becomes less capable of metabolizing alcohol, so it enters the bloodstream in larger quantities. Since more of the alcohol can enter the bloodstream, an older person can actually end up over the legal limit with fewer drinks. 

Medication affects how alcohol interacts with the body

Many older adults have to take medications in their later years. These medications already come with many side effects, and many of them will come with a label saying not to mix the drug with alcohol. Plenty of people do it anyway, and as a result, they become a danger to themselves. And if they decide to get behind the wheel, they become a danger to everyone else ion the road. Blood thinners, antidepressants and antibiotics all tend to react negatively with alcohol, so older citizens should follow the advice of their doctors regarding whether they should drink while taking their medications.

After a certain age, you should recognize when you need to let someone else drive. Even if you only plan on having one alcoholic beverage, everyone will be better off if there is a designated driver. 

If you have been arrested for DUI in Colorado, keep in mind this important fact: there are defenses. Contact an experienced DUI attorney as soon as possible to learn about possible defense strategies.

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