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Question: Can you explain a rising blood alcohol level in Maryland?

Answer: The concept behind rising blood alcohol is that when you leave the bar, say, and maybe you had one for the road maybe you didn’t; or maybe you just finished your beer or maybe you just drank a beer right before you left, or maybe you took a shot right before you left; your alcohol level may be at one point at one number. But as you begin to drive down the road and your body begins to metabolize the alcohol that was sitting in your stomach, your alcohol content is now on the rise. So, for example, if you’re driving down the road after having just left the bar, you get pulled over, you get arrested and perhaps you were not feeling any of the ramifications of consuming alcohol at the time, because maybe you just drank that last shot or that last beer, but by the time you get to the police station, that number, your BAC number, is actually on the rise, it’s actually increasing. And by the time you blow in the machine, which could be a half an hour later, it could be an hour later, your BAC could be substantially higher than it was at the time of the arrest.

So, once again, this could be fairly detrimental. Here’s an example where this really plays out: say you are at dinner with your spouse and you had dinner and maybe you had some wine with dinner, maybe you had a post-dinner drink, and then on the way home you have the unfortunate event of being stopped for DUI and arrested. Well, if there was food in the stomach at the time you were drinking the alcohol, the alcohol would be more or less sitting on top of that food and as your body digests the food and then moves on to the alcohol, your BAC limit at that time could be an hour later, could go up substantially because your body is now metabolizing and/or digesting the alcohol, which now is going to give an artificially high BAC, which you did not have when you left the bar, nor would you have had it if you had left the restaurant and went directly home, you would not have had such a number.

But, an hour later when everything is being digested, your BAC number could be much higher. It’s sort of the concept that you experience when you go out initially, maybe, and have a drink or two and you get that feeling of, “Oh, I don’t feel anything,” and then all of a sudden, 20 minutes later, you’re like, “Whoa, all of a sudden I feel the impact of this alcohol.” Well, that’s the alcohol being metabolized at that point in time. And had somebody tested your BAC at that moment in time, it would be higher than it was earlier upon the consumption of alcohol. So, this is another concept that does affect one’s BAC and can be problematic in a BAC or DUI arrest.


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