DWI Attorney Shares How to Calculate Your BAC

DWI AttorneyAs a DWI attorney, we have a lot of clients that ask us when it is safe to drive.  Most people would prefer to avoid getting pulled over and charged with a DWI, so this is a fairly standard question.  In our opinion, if you have had something to drink and feel that you need to ask that question, you probably shouldn’t drive. By the time you are questioning your sobriety, you may be best asking a friend to drive you home.  Our motto is better safe than sorry.

However, if you are planning a night out and want to avoid having too much to drink there are several tips you can keep in mind.  For the most part, you want to stay under one drink an hour in order to keep your BAC below 0.08 percent.  One drink is defined as one beer, one glass of wine, or one shot of hard alcohol. If you drink an extra-large beer or a mixed drink with several shots in it, you have to calculate that as what it really is and not underestimate your consumption.

As a DWI attorney, we also know that this is not an exact science so while it is a good idea to have less than one drink per hour, you could still get over the legal limit by following that rule.  There are other aspects that also factor into how your body will process alcohol.  For example, if you haven’t had anything to eat all day, one beer could go to your head.  Simultaneously if you are sick and not feeling well, your body may not process alcohol like it normally does.  Being overly tired can also negatively impact how you feel and how you drive for a bad combination.  Pay attention to whether or not you have any of these other factors and if you do, either don’t drink or get a ride home.

There are also some websites that you can use to get an idea of how your body will respond to drinking.  Not only is each person different in how quickly they process alcohol but things like gender and weight play a role.  As a general rule of thumb, women, for example, don’t process alcohol as quickly as men do.  This means that if a man can drink a beer an hour without a problem, a woman might only be able to drink one every seventy minutes.

If you want to test out your weight and gender to see what you can drink per hour visit http://bloodalcoholcalculator.org.  We do not endorse this site, nor do we attest to its accuracy.  This is simply an informational tool that you can use for reference.  It lets you run scenarios based on how much you are drinking and what you are drinking in order to calculate an estimated BAC.  When we ran some test scenarios we found that weight seemed to be the largest single factor in determining if someone was over the legal limit after having something to drink.  For example, a man weighing 150 pounds could be over the legal limit by having three drinks in an hour.  If, however, a man weighed 250 pounds the site said they were clear to go.  Again, as a DWI attorney we do not endorse this as an exact science so if you are ever concerned that you may be intoxicated or shouldn’t drive – don’t.  Call a cab or a friend, instead.