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Understanding how alcohol affects older Americans

In Connecticut, the legal blood alcohol concentration is 0.08 for most drivers. At Joseph J. Colarusso, Attorney at Law, we know that alcohol will affect people differently based on a variety of factors, including age. As scientific data and studies support, older Americans are prone to feeling the effects of drinking sooner than younger people will.

The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services points out that as the body ages, it loses its ability to metabolize alcohol efficiently. Therefore, the substance remains in the body longer. At the same time, older bodies have less water. This phenomenon leads to a higher blood alcohol concentration.

There are several other reasons that older people may experience inebriation sooner than others, including the following: 

  •        Older people are more likely to take medications that do not mix well with alcohol.
  •        The aging process lowers the body’s tolerance for alcohol.
  •        Drinking alcohol can worsen pre-existing conditions prevalent among older people.

Experts also warn that medications can stay in your body for hours after taking them. Therefore, you should always clearly read the labels and follow directions accordingly.

It may surprise you to learn that your tolerance for alcohol will wane as you get older. In order to remain safe behind the wheel, it is imperative to know your risk factors for feeling the effects of alcohol quickly. Penalties in Connecticut for driving under the influence can include fines, jail time and loss of privileges.

For more information on this topic, please visit our page on drunk driving charges.

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