If a law enforcement official arrests you for drinking and driving, you could face a number of penalties. The Wisconsin Department of Transportation states that for a first OWI offense, for example, you could face a fine between $150 to $300 and a six to nine-month license revocation.

Your blood alcohol content is the amount of alcohol present in your blood based on the volume of alcohol you consume over a given period of time. There are many factors that affect how quickly your BAC level rises after drinking, which can make it difficult to know if your BAC is within the legal limit.


The intoxication effects of alcoholic beverages increase as you get older. This means that your BAC level will likely be lower after consuming the same amount of alcohol as an older person.


Compared with men, women typically have more water content in their bodies. Because alcohol is a highly water soluble substance, women will have a higher BAC level than men after drinking the same amount of alcohol.

Drink strength and rate of consumption

The faster you consume alcohol, the faster your BAC level will go up. Additionally, the more alcohol the beverage you drink contains, the higher your BAC level will be.

Food in your stomach

Your BAC level will be higher on an empty stomach than if you had eaten before consuming alcohol. When you have food in your stomach, it slows how quickly your body absorbs the alcohol into your bloodstream.