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

woman standing outside drinking a beer - DUI Defense Springfield

.08% is a percentage that most of us know correlates to the amount of alcohol in your blood or BAC that deems you legally impaired to drive. Driving and then blowing a 0.08% or higher BAC is certain to get you in handcuffs and be issued a DUI or DWI in Missouri, but not many people know that any percentage above 0% can be grounds for DWI if the presiding officer views you as unfit to drive or you’re under the legal drinking age.

With states nationwide, cracking down on drinking and driving (many with zero tolerance laws) people want to know exactly how many drinks it takes to be considered impaired and what constitutes a DWI in Missouri. To figure out how many drinks it takes a person to get to 0.08% blood alcohol content, we must delve into biology.

The body processes alcohol at a certain rate. This rate depends upon the type of drink, the gender and lean body mass of the person, as well as the time in which the alcohol was consumed. Let’s break this down:

Type of Drink

Whatever poison you choose will directly affect how much alcohol enters your bloodstream. Many charts you will find only show the weight of the person, how many drinks they had, and the time frame in which they had the drinks. Some drinks are easier to identify the amount of alcohol contained, like a can of beer or a drink you’ve made yourself. However, going out to bars can affect the knowledge you have about the amount of booze in your drink. Some bartenders can be generous, while others follow strict guidelines. Notice how each drink makes you feel and take at least half an hour between beverages to see what effects they have on you.

Gender and Weight

Oftentimes we generally think that a lean person will reach a higher BAC than a larger person. While in some cases this is true, what needs to be looked at is the percentage of lean body mass, since alcohol is not distributed to fatty areas. The ratio of lean body mass is what makes all the difference. Many experts believe that it takes about 3 drinks (12 oz beer, 5 oz glass of wine, or a shot of liquor) taken within an hour for a 100 lb person to reach .08% BAC. Other general guidelines include:

  • At 140 lbs it takes about four drinks an hour to reach a .08 BAC.
  • At 180 lbs it takes about five drinks an hour to reach a .08 BAC.
  • At about 220 lbs it takes around six drinks an hour to reach a .08 BAC.

Even with these general guidelines, it is imperative to consider the gender of each individual. Generally speaking, women will reach a higher BAC faster than men, regardless of size. If you’re still not sure, these charts can help you to know if you fall into the possibly impaired, impaired, or legally intoxicated realms.

Having an approximate idea of how many drinks it takes you to get to 0.08% will help keep you and other drivers safe and keep you out of handcuffs.

You can find more information about the risks involved with a Missouri DWI on our website or by contacting DWI Springfield today.

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