Your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) determines whether you are sober enough to operate a vehicle. If your BAC is over .08%, the legal limit, you will face legal repercussions in the event an officer pulls you over.
However, even a slightly elevated BAC can affect your driving ability negatively. Knowing how many drinks it takes to get drunk can help you avoid legal issues and ensure everyone is safe on the road.
What is the standard drink size?
Alcoholic beverages come in a wide range of potencies. Accordingly, drink sizes vary depending on how potent a beverage is. This is an important factor to remember, as drinking more than the standard size will get you drunker quicker.
With beer, which usually has a 5% alcohol content, the standard size is 12 ounces. The standard drink size for a distilled spirit or 80-proof liquor is one shot, which is 1.5 ounces. On the other hand, wine usually has a 12% alcohol content, so it comes in a 5-ounce glass.
How many drinks does it take to get drunk?
For the average person, it takes about four standard drinks to reach the legal limit of .08%. However, the effects of alcohol can take hold in as little as three drinks, at which point a person’s BAC will be .05%. In this case, a person can experience difficulty tracking objects with their eyes and processing information. Coordination and steering are also negatively impacted.
By five drinks, BAC reaches .10%. Driving ability significantly reduces at this point, and the driver has a much higher risk of accident as a result. And after about seven drinks, there is a greater chance a person will become physically ill due to alcohol consumption.