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How Many Drinks Can You Have Before You Are Over The Legal Limit?

People often tell me all that they don't believe the breath results. Sometimes it's because the machine may not be working and the results really are incorrect Other times it's simply because its hard to know what your BAC is. It's that special line that we try to avoid crossing while out on the city: a BAC of .08%. As the Wall Street Journal reported, most of us think a few glasses of wine over dinner won't put us over the legal limit. The paper set out to test these assumptions. It hosted a "BAC party," where people drank alcohol, then blew into three different breathalyzers during the events. So what's the magic number of drinks a person can have and still stay under .08? Unfortunately, there was no consistent answer. A person's BAC is not just individual, it also depends on other factors, such as:

  • Food: Eating while drinking slows down how fast alcohol is absorbed into the bloodstream. Alcohol stays in the stomach longer as part of the digestion process before heading to the small intestine and liver. It doesn't matter what you eat though, just whether you ate. Simply put, if you eat before and during alcohol consumption, you can drink more before reaching the legal limit.
  • Weight: The more you weigh, the more alcohol your bodily can handle before you reach the limit.
  • Age: Young drinkers metabolize alcohol quicker than older drinkers.
  • Menstrual cycles: Women are able to metabolize alcohol 10% faster right after ovulation.
  • Shots and Carbonated drinks raise your BAC faster than regular beer or wine.


Perhaps bars should provide a complimentary breathalyzer since it's so tough to know.

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