How many drinks does it take to get drunk?

On Behalf of | Jul 20, 2021 | DUI

When you are out having a good time with friends and family, it is easy to forget just how many adult beverages you had. This can lead to legal issues if you receive a breathalyzer test from the police while driving.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, blood alcohol content (BAC) increases with every drink you have. In fact, just four standard-size drinks can bring you to the legal limit of .08%. Here are some factors to keep in mind when drinking.

What is a standard-size drink?

Different types of alcohol have different potencies. Distilled spirits and liquors are very potent, so their standard drink sizes are smaller. For something 80-proof, which means it has 40% alcohol content, 1.5 ounces is a standard size. For something less potent, like beer, the standard drink size is 12 ounces. On the other hand, wine comes in a standard size of 5 ounces because it has an alcohol content of 12%.

How does alcohol affect your driving ability?

Three drinks raise your BAC to .05%. You may experience impaired coordination, problems focusing on moving objects, and a decreased response to emergencies. By four drinks, your BAC will elevate to .08%, the legal limit. This can cause slurred speech, lack of concentration, and issues controlling speed.

Three more drinks and your BAC will rise to .15%. Motor skills, judgment, and information processing are greatly diminished. You may also experience significant gastrointestinal distress, such as vomiting, as well as a loss of muscle control and decreased balance.

If you plan on drinking while out, arrange for a designated driver. You can also schedule a ride-share to ensure you have a safe way back home. These steps prevent legal issues, but they also keep you and others safe.