How many drinks do you need to reach a BAC of 0.08?

On Behalf of | Feb 13, 2019 | criminal defense |

All states have a blood alcohol content limit of 0.08 percent. However, it is vital to remember that under South Dakota law a police officer can still arrest you for DUI if he or she believes you are a danger to yourself or others. 

A lot of people think they are fine to drive because they only had a few alcoholic beverages that night. You could still end up with a DUI, and the truth of the matter is that it does not take much to hit 0.08. You need to be extremely cautious if you drank anything in the hours before driving, and you need to keep the following in mind. 

Physical traits that affect your BAC

There are several factors that play a role in how much you can drink before becoming legally intoxicated. Your age, weight and gender all factor into the equation. Additionally, your BAC also relies on whether you had anything to eat while you drank. When you have a fuller stomach, you can drink more alcohol before it intoxicates you. 

Everyone is different, but there are certain guidelines you can follow to know whether you are within legal limits. For example, a man who weighs 160 pounds can have three alcoholic beverages in one hour and on average will still have a BAC less than 0.08. However, a woman weighing 160 pounds who consumes three drinks in an hour will be over the legal limit.

Why what you drink matters

You also want to pay attention to what kind of alcohol you consume. For example, 12 ounces of average beer contains 4.5 percent alcohol. Meanwhile, 1.5 ounces of 80-proof liquor will contain 40 percent alcohol. Additionally, if you are out at a bar drinking, then it is possible the bartenders made the mixed drink with more than 1.5 ounces of alcohol. It results in a stronger drink, but it also means you will be over the limit sooner. The best rule of thumb is to never drive after consuming any amount of alcohol.