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It’s hot outside — really hot. Colorado has already had more than one major heatwave this summer, and it isn’t even August.
This could be a problem if you’re outside having drinks and don’t realize that you can actually get a lot drunker much faster, when it’s hot. Not only could consuming what seems like a normal amount of alcohol make you sick, it could lead to a drunk driving charge.
How does the heat increase intoxication levels?
Essentially, it has to do with the body’s internal mechanics and automatic method of regulating its own temperature. Alcohol affects your hypothalamus gland, which controls how much you sweat.
If it’s hot outside, your hypothalamus is already making you sweat. Alcohol increases this reaction. That’s why alcohol has traditionally been served to “warm up” guests on cold winter nights. When it’s hot, this can quickly lead to dehydration — not only because you’re sweating more than you should but because alcohol is also a diuretic.
In addition to the dangers that come with dehydration, your body’s cells will have less fluid from sweating, and that means the alcohol in your body becomes more concentrated. In turn, this leads to stronger intoxicating effects.
What can you do to prevent a problem?
Cutting your alcohol consumption down and drinking a lot of non-alcoholic fluids is the only way to combat excessive intoxication and dehydration from the heat. If it gets too hot outside, maybe take your party inside.
Everybody makes mistakes, but a drunk driving conviction is a mistake that can really cost you. If you’re currently facing DUI charges, take immediate steps to protect your future.