This past weekend, October 15-16, marked a truly momentous occasion for those of us living in the Southwest.  No, I am not talking about an entire day of rainfall or a day below 95° (it’s mid-October)–I am talking about the 7th annual Arizona Taco Festival!  Tacos seem like a rite of passage in Arizona, and events like the Taco Festival solidify Arizona’s love for the tasty treats inspired by our neighbors down South.  This year featured more than just tacos with lucha libre wrestling, a donkey photo booth, a Chihuahua beauty contest, eating contests, and, of course, tequila, lots and lots of tequila because tacos and tequila go together like….milk and cookies? Speaking of dessert, the taco fest also featured delectable dessert tacos for those of us with a sweet tooth!

Although the Taco Fest was a family-friendly event, we all know how live music (rock out with your guac out…yes…that was also a “thing”), great food, and lucha libre wrestling mixed with tequila can have potentially disastrous consequences if one is not careful.  As we have previously discussed in this blog, it is important to be aware of how your body absorbs alcohol when filled with all the not-so-healthy goodness that is tacos.  Alcohol absorption is directly affected by whatever else you’re consuming, and the more fats, proteins, and carbohydrates you eat while you drink, the slower your absorption rate will be, maybe even up to three times slower than drinking on an empty stomach.  Keep in mind that as alcohol is metabolized, broken down so that it is no longer toxic to the body, its components also inhibit your liver from metabolizing sugars.  This makes it harder for your body to absorb that 3rd margarita and keeps your blood alcohol concentration up.  We often times mistakenly think that because we’ve just downed our 6th taco with that 3rd margarita, we should be fine to drive because we don’t yet feel the effects of that margarita, only the comings of the dreaded “taco coma.”  If we get pulled over on our way home for a siesta, our bodies might still be busy absorbing the alcohol; a breath test conducted in the absorptive phase could provide an incorrect reading.  Because breathalyzers are programmed to assume that a person’s body has absorbed everything ingested, studies show that a test taken while the body is still absorbing alcohol can produce an alleged alcohol concentration that is artificially inflated by 40-50%!

In looking forward to Halloween where we will once again have the opportunity to gorge on alcohol and candy, it will be important to remember lessons learned from the Taco Festival.  Stay tuned for our next blog on what to do for Halloween around the Valley this year–and how to avoid an unplanned costume change into Sheriff Joe’s pink underwear!

I hope everyone had a chance to enjoy the 7th Annual Arizona Taco Festival!  Hope to see you all out there next year!  As always, know your rights and drive sober!