How did I get drunk so fast?

Question: I can’t believe my alcohol level was so high on the cop’s test; it was .142. I don’t know how it got so high because I can usually tell if I’m drunk or not and then I can take a cab or an Uber or get a friend to take me home. I shouldn’t have been so drunk and I don’t know how it happened to me.

I was at a party with my husband and I was drinking gin and tonic and rum and coke. I was the designated driver. I had a couple of each because I’m not a huge drinker and I can handle whatever I’m drinking and I’ve never had a problem with alcoholism, like my mother and my aunt have.

I admit that I never drink rum or gin, at least I haven’t since college in Athens, GA. I usually drink wine and maybe a beer. I know gin and rum have more alcohol, but this buzz hit me really fast. I drank and I noticed I was pretty buzzed, which never happens because I eat when I’m drinking.

I really want to know how I got drunk so fast because, Iike I said, alcohol doesn’t hit me that hard.

This time I got pulled over in Roswell and I said I’d been drinking and I think the Roswell policeman could smell it on my breath. I think he knew pretty fast. The cop wanted to look at my eyes and make me walk a straight line. I did it all and probably didn’t look too good. I almost fell over and he noticed.

I need a Roswell DUI lawyer and you were recommended by another attorney so I thought I’d write because I was reading your blog. How did I get drunk much faster than usual?

B.C. in Roswell, Georgia

Answer: Several possibilities come to mind as to why you got intoxicated faster than usual.

Perhaps you didn’t eat much food before or during your drinking. Food can have an impact on how fast someone gets drunk. It’s much easier to get drunk on an empty stomach than if you’ve been eating. Food slows down the absorption of alcohol into the blood system.

Another possibility is that the carbonation in the mixers caused you to become intoxicated faster than usual. It has been demonstrated that carbonated beverages (you state you drank tonic and coke) raise alcohol levels faster in the bloodstream, because the gas irritates the stomach lining, causing alcohol to be absorbed faster. In fact, carbonation increases pressure in the stomach, which helps to force alcohol into the bloodstream via the stomach lining.

That’s why people say they get drunk faster when drinking champagne. The bubbles in the champagne irritate the stomach lining, causing quicker absorption of the alcohol.

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