At least when it comes to consuming alcohol.
Most people have heard the myth that “If I only drink 1 drink per hour, I will never become intoxicated.” This is only true for certain people. Women will absorb up to nearly 30% more alcohol into their bloodstream than men of the same height and weight who drink the same amount of alcohol (the average social drinker will eliminate in the range of .015 to .02 per hour depending upon individual factors). If a 200 lb. man consumes a single drink (12 oz. light beer or 4 oz. glass of wine or a single ounce of 100 proof liquor), his maximum alcohol concentration would be approximately .02 per drink. If a 125 lb. woman consumes the same drink, her alcohol concentration would be .036 per drink.
Some of the reasons why a women's alcohol absorption rate differs from men's are:
- Women have a higher proportion of body fat than men. Because fat does not absorb alcohol, the alcohol is concentrated at higher levels in the blood of women than men.
- Women have less of the enzyme dehydrogenase that breaks down alcohol in the stomach contributing to higher BAC's than men drinking the same amount of alcohol.
- Certain studies show that hormonal changes during a woman's menstrual cycle can affect alcohol metabolism.
You can experiment with a drink wheel to determine what your BAC level may be after a certain amount of drinks per hour to see the the alcohol concentration difference between women and men (the BAC estimates generated by a drink wheel should not be used to infer anyone's fitness to work, drive or perform any other task or duty).
In any event, know your limit. Eat food while you drink, sip your drinks and skip a drink now and then or alternate alcohol and non-alcohol drinks. And when in doubt, don't drink and drive.
The Law Office of Craig W. Penrod has been involved in criminal and DUI defense for more than 20 years. Contact the DUI lawyers at the Law Offices of Craig W. Penrod for a free initial legal consultation if you find yourself facing DUI or criminal charges.