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How much alcohol consumption is too much to drive?

On Behalf of | Aug 22, 2022 | DUI

Avoiding a DUI usually depends on ensuring that you are not over the legal blood alcohol content limit before you get behind the wheel. Unfortunately, most people do not have a way to test this and only find out they are over the limit if an officer pulls them over.

While it is impossible to know your BAC without testing, there are some guidelines that could help you to get a better idea of how to estimate your BAC.

BAC limit

Before you can begin even thinking about understanding how alcohol consumption compares to BAC, you need to know the legal limits in the state. According to the Illinois Secretary of State, the BAC limit depends on the situation. For most drivers who are over the age of 21, the limit is .08. However, for anyone under the age of 21, the limit is .00, which reflects the zero tolerance law in the state. Similarly, school bus drivers also have the .00 limit. Anyone with a commercial driver’s license has a reduced rate of .04.

Drinks to BAC

It is impossible to tell you how many drinks you can have and still be legal to drive. This is because many factors can impact BAC. The main factors are gender and weight. Men will usually process the alcohol faster, and the same is true for those who weigh more. But there are other things, such as food in your stomach and what type of alcohol you drink, that will also impact your BAC.

For general purposes, though, a female weighing 137 can remain under the limit by consuming only two servings per hour. A male who weighs 170 pounds will be ok during the same time when consuming four drinks.

Serving size

A drink refers to a shot of liquor, can of beer or glass of wine. However, it also applies to .54 ounces of pure alcohol, so if the drink is highly diluted, a serving may be bigger.

Trying to judge your BAC is never a good idea. It is not possible without a real test. You are better offer sticking to finding someone else to drive.