How Many Drinks Does It Take To Get To .08?

Drunk driving is a major cause of serious traffic accidents. It is important to avoid drinking before you join the streets to ensure safety.

The law has established a .08 threshold in alcohol tests to prevent drunk drivers from driving. Drivers who exceed this limit will be fined for violating the law. 

However, this concept is quite confusing, and you may wonder, “how many drinks does it take to get to .08.” 

On average, your BAC level will get to .08 with four to five drinks after around one hour. The number may vary with different body conditions and the type of drink you consume.  

An Overview Of BAC

BAC or blood alcohol concentration is the proportion of alcohol measured in the human body. This number will go up after you drink liquors, and the number will get higher based on the amount of alcohol you take. 

The BAC indicates the effect of liquor on one person; or put it simply, it shows how drunk you are. According to the law, the allowed limit of BAC is .08.

If your level exceeds .08 on the liquor test, you will be arrested at the nearest police station and charged with heavy fines, in some cases the deprivation of driver’s license. 

Is BAC Important?

Higher BAC means that your brain and body are impaired due to the number of liquors consumed. A driver with a high BAC level is not sober or focused enough to drive on the streets and may cause serious accidents. 

So, the tests and BAC levels are extremely important. Police officers can measure the BAC number with a regular hand-held breathalyzer used by police officers. 

The test results or BAC produced by breathalyzers can be used as a legitimate evidence to convict drunk drivers in courts. It warns drivers from consuming liquor before joining the street and reduces the number of accidents. 

How Many Drinks Does It Take To Get To .08?
Breathalyzer Test

How Does BAC Affect You Physically?

High BAC levels mean that your body is not sober and under the effect of liquors. The body’s physical conditions, behavior, and thinking are impaired. 

Depending on the amount of alcohol you consume, this effect will get severe.

A completely sober driver who did not drink liquor will have a blood alcohol level standing at 0.00%. When the number goes up to 0.02%, you will slightly lose focus and your body temperature increases.

The concentrating and driving ability are reduced slightly. At 0.05%, your body muscles will be impaired and lose control a little bit. You will react to urgent situations slower on the road. 

At 0.08%, which is the threshold permitted for driving, your vision, physical conditions, and muscle function will decrease significantly. Your memory, visual ability, and thinking are also negatively affected.

With these symptoms, it is no longer safe for you to drive at this blood alcohol level. Exceeding the 0.08% will lead to severe impairments and affect your driving ability.

How Many Drinks Does It Take To Get To .08?

On average, it takes around four to five drinks for your BAC level to get to .08. in one hour. The number will change depending on your body conditions and many other factors. 

Your blood alcohol content can be affected by many factors. Here are some typical examples:

  • Your body size
  • Gender
  • Physical conditions
  • Whether you are taking medication or not
  • The food you ate
  • Your sleep duration
  • The amount and type of liquor you drink

The results measured by breathalyzers are not always one hundred percent as accurate as blood tests.

The Drink You Consume

On average, four to five drinks equal 56-70 grams or 2.4-3 ounces of liquor. The different types of liquor drinks will have different alcohol content. 

For example, it takes up to 12 ounces of beer for the blood alcohol level to get to .08 in one hour after you drink. Meanwhile, the number for liquor and wine is only 5-8 ounces. 

With strong liquors like vodka, whiskey, or rum, it can go up to 0.8 quickly after a shot of drink.


Your Weight And Gender

A person weighing 160 pounds will reach a blood alcohol content level of .08 after 4 to 5 drinks after an hour. If you are leaner, the blood alcohol level will go up faster with fewer amounts of liquor consumed.

For example, it takes only three drinks for a 100 pounds person to reach 0.08, while the number for a 220-pound person is 6. 

However, these numbers are not always accurate. You also need to consider other factors such as gender and physical condition. 

Other Common Factors

The blood alcohol content also depends on how sensitive to liquor your body is and the food you eat. 

When your stomach is full, it will absorb liquor slower, which means that you will stay sober for longer than a hungry person after drinking. 

If you have taken medications such as aspirin or anti-depressants, the effect of liquors will also vary.  


How To Measure Your BAC?

The easiest way to measure the blood alcohol content is to use a portable breathalyzer. You can carry this small device and test your blood alcohol concentration after drinking to decide if you can join the street. 

Although the breathalyzer is not accurate as a blood test, the result is still reliable. This device is also used widely by police officers in alcohol tests anyway.  

If you want to know how to use a breathalyzer, consider watching the video.

Final Thoughts

We hope that the answer provided in this post can satisfy you. It is very important to avoid drinking or keep your blood alcohol content level below .08 before driving to ensure the safety of you and other people. 

Thank you for reading!

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