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What affects a blood alcohol test?

There are many things that influence the outcome of a blood alcohol test in New Jersey. First and foremost, the amount of drinks you consume and the rate at which you consume them plays the biggest role. Having two drinks in a half an hour is going to register higher than having three drinks over six hours. The amount of time that has passed since your last drink also matters.

Your body weight and what you've eaten can also play into it. This is especially important for people to remember when they're smaller than those they're drinking with. For example, a 190-pound man may be able to have two drinks and drive, while a 100-pound woman could consume the same drinks and be over the limit. Don't assume you can drink more just because someone else can.

Now, there are also things outside of drinking that can impact the test, which is important if you don't believe you were drunk but the test says that you were. Examples include:

-- The use of rubbing alcohol on your skin. This may be done if blood is drawn with a needle.-- Using some herbal supplements, like ginseng or kava.-- High overall blood ketone levels, which can exist in those with diabetes.-- Using standard cough medicines that have alcohol in them.-- Consuming other types of alcohol, like methanol or isopropyl alcohol.

If you've failed a test and you think it is inaccurate for any reason, perhaps because these other outside factors influenced it, make sure you know your legal options.

Source: WebMD, "Blood Alcohol: What Affects the Test," accessed April 29, 2016

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