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How does someone actually reach a BAC of 0.08?

When people think about blood alcohol content (BAC) or driving under the influence, they typically think of the magic number 0.08. For most of us that have had a glass of wine with dinner or a few beers during the game, getting to the level where we believe we may be over the legal limit may seem pretty hard to do given our typical drinking habits. While we know that we are consuming alcohol, our bodies tend to metabolize it at a rate that keeps the light, social drinker at a BAC level below the legal limit. So how does someone actually reach a BAC of 0.08? Well, among other things, habit plays a huge role in how and when someone reaches the 0.08 mark.

While it should come as no surprise, binge drinkers can reach a legally intoxicated BAC level pretty quickly. For the ordinary person, it actually takes a little work. For a man weighing roughly 170 pounds, reaching the 0.08 mark would generally require him to consume four average sized drinks within an hour. He would also have to consume them on an empty stomach.

For a woman weighing roughly 140 pounds, reaching the same BAC would only take three average sized drinks on an empty stomach.  Given the time that it typically takes the human body to metabolize alcohol, consuming alcoholic drinks that are a standard size, at a slow pace may help keep an individual’s BAC under the legal limit.

When it comes to how alcohol affects someone, no two people are alike. While drinking habits, weight and stomach contents play a major role in becoming intoxicated, there are several other factors that may also affect an individual’s BAC. This information could be used as a guideline for the light, social drinker that wishes to avoid becoming intoxicated. However, consuming any alcohol increases your BAC and may increase your risk of receiving a DUI. If you have been charged with a DUI based on a BAC that you believe was inaccurate, speaking to a DUI defense attorney may help.



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