People who drink regularly in Minnesota may believe they are familiar with their own tolerance for alcohol and use this as a basis for decisions such as whether they are able to drive safely. However, the assumptions about how a person’s body is responding to the alcoholic drink may have nothing to do with the actual effects. In fact, a variety of factors contribute to the way that one drink may affect a person.
The Mayo Clinic notes that one alcoholic drink is defined as a five-ounce glass of wine, 1.5 ounces of liquor or 12 ounces of beer. The effect on a person’s blood alcohol concentration varies, and it is important to note that alcohol has a greater impact on seniors.
According to the National Institutes of Health, research indicates that older adults typically experience a higher BAC after having the same number of drinks as a younger person. One reason that there may be more changes to dexterity, speech and other abilities after a single drink has to do with hydration. The body contains less water over time, so alcohol has a stronger impact.
Other potential influences that may contribute to the way a person over the age of 65 responds to alcohol include reactions to combinations of alcohol with some medications and supplements that are commonly prescribed to seniors. Even though several hours may have passed since someone took medication, enough of it may linger in the system to react negatively to an alcoholic drink. Making a transportation plan before drinking any alcohol is the surest way to prevent being pulled over for driving under the influence.