If you consume alcohol and drive a vehicle with a blood alcohol content level at or above 0.08, you could face charges for DWI. The Governors Highway Safety Association states that it is illegal to drive with a BAC level at or above this point in Missouri and every other state in the country except Utah. 

There are many factors that affect how quickly your BAC level will reach 0.08 while consuming alcohol. This can make it difficult to determine what your BAC level is before getting in your car and driving after a night out. 

1. Gender 

Men usually have higher water content than women in their bodies. Since alcohol is an incredibly water-soluble substance, you will typically reach a higher BAC level if you are a woman than a man after consuming the same amount of alcohol at a similar rate. 

2. Medications 

Certain types of medications can augment how alcohol affects your body and make a DWI charge more likely if you get behind the wheel. For example, anti-depressants, aspirin and cough medicines can raise your BAC level faster when combined with alcohol consumption. 

3. Food in your stomach 

When you have food in your stomach, it will reduce how quickly the alcohol moves into your bloodstream. Food slows the absorption process because it prevents the alcohol from going into the small intestine directly, which is the last stop before alcohol moves into the bloodstream. Although the effects of drinking alcohol will still occur, they will happen at a much slower rate than if you consumed alcohol on an empty stomach. 

4. Rate of consumption 

Your liver can metabolize approximately one standard alcoholic beverage per hour. One alcoholic beverage equates to one 12-ounce beer, one five-ounce glass of wine or one shot of 80-proof distilled spirits. The faster you drink, the faster you will reach a BAC level of 0.08.