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Can you speed up the metabolism of alcohol?

On Behalf of | Feb 29, 2024 | Drunk Driving |

Understanding the basics of how the body metabolizes alcohol is important for anyone who drinks, even if they only do so occasionally. After consuming alcohol, many individuals wonder if there’s a way to speed up the process of metabolizing alcohol to reduce its effects more quickly. The short answer is no – there are no shortcuts to significantly accelerate the rate at which the body metabolizes alcohol. 

With that said, understanding how alcohol metabolism works can help anyone who enjoys any kind of alcohol to make more informed decisions about drinking and driving. And, in doing so, their informed decision-making can help them to minimize the risk of being arrested for impaired driving

Alcohol metabolism: The basics

Alcohol is metabolized primarily by the liver at a rate that varies slightly among individuals but can be generally estimated at about one standard drink per hour. This rate can be influenced by several factors, including age, weight, sex and overall liver health, but the variability is not enough to drastically change this metabolism rate. Once alcohol is in your system, your body must process it; you cannot speed this process up significantly.

Common myths and misconceptions

Many myths suggest ways to sober up quickly, such as drinking coffee, taking a cold shower or exercising. While these methods might make a person feel more alert, they do not reduce one’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) or speed up the elimination of alcohol from the body. The only thing that lowers BAC is time.

Protecting your interests

From a legal standpoint, understanding that you cannot speed up alcohol metabolism is essential, especially when deciding whether or not to get behind the wheel. Misjudging your ability to sober up can lead to DUI charges, which can result in serious consequences, including fines, license suspension and even incarceration. The belief that you can quickly sober up to legally drive can be a costly misconception.

Ultimately, the safest way to avoid DUI charges related to alcohol metabolism misunderstandings is to plan to avoid driving if you will be drinking. Use designated drivers, public transportation or rideshare services to better ensure that you do not drive under the influence.