How easy is it to reach .08% BAC?

On Behalf of | May 12, 2022 | DUI |

You may know that the legal blood alcohol concentration limit for driving with alcohol in your system is .08%. That knowledge is helpful, but what may help more is understanding just how quickly your body could reach that BAC.

It is much easier to reach .08% than people tend to realize. There are also factors that may influence how quickly you become impaired, such as your:

  • Age
  • Gender/sex
  • Fat and muscle content
  • Metabolism
  • Level of hydration
  • Medications

How strong an alcoholic drink is does make a difference, too, just as your tolerance may influence how you feel when you reach the .08% range.

No two people are the same when drinking

While it would be nice to be able to say you’ll reach a .08% BAC after two or three drinks, there is really no way to know for sure. Everyone is different, and alcoholic drinks are all made in various ways that may increase or decrease alcohol content. The same cocktail, for example, may have varied alcohol concentrations when served at different bars.

That being said, experts believe it takes around four to five drinks for a person to reach this BAC, though that is surely not accurate for everyone. Standard drinks, on average, raise the blood alcohol concentration by around .02% per drink, but other factors, like those mentioned above, may also cause fluctuations in how the alcohol is absorbed and affects the body.

Don’t guess your BAC, get out from behind the wheel

It’s not a good idea to use these estimates to try to drive when you’ve been drinking. Instead, if you plan to drink, plan not to drive.

Even a single drink can be enough to influence the way you drive, which may mean that you make mistakes that end up harming you or those around you. It’s easier to reach .08% than you may think. Since you may not have no way of knowing your exact BAC or how you’re affected, letting a sober driver get you home is the right choice. Remember, officers don’t need you to be at .08% to make an arrest. You can face a DUI at almost any level of intoxication.