how much blood alcohol content is in one beer
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Blood Alcohol Level Chart: Are You Too Drunk to Legally Drive?
Use the blood alcohol level chart to get an idea of how many drinks it takes to put your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) above the legal limit.
In every state, it’s illegal—a “per se” DUI—to drive with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08% or more. (The BAC limit can be even lower for certain motorists, like commercial vehicle drivers and drivers younger than 21.) But everyone absorbs and metabolizes alcohol at different rates, and there are lots of factors that affect BAC. So there’s no exact formula for determining how many drinks equate to a given BAC level. Plus, you can be convicted of DUI for driving “impaired” (by alcohol or drugs) even if you were under the BAC limit.
The chart below gives BAC estimates that correspond to number of drinks consumed and body weight. (For another way of looking at blood-alcohol approximations, check out our BAC calculator.)
Are You Too Drunk to Legally Drive? A Warning About BAC Estimates
The BAC values in the chart below, shown in separate rows for men and women, are only estimates. You shouldn’t rely on their accuracy when deciding whether to drive or do anything else. The chart doesn’t account for all the factors that can affect BAC levels or the extent of impairment—for example, fatigue, medications taken, or amount of food consumed. If you’ve been drinking, it’s always best to let someone else drive.
Using the BAC Chart
In the chart, one drink equals 1.5 ounces of hard liquor, 12 ounces of beer, or five ounces of wine. For example, one ten-ounce glass of wine would count as two drinks.
Also, time is an important consideration in using the chart. The human body metabolizes alcohol over time. Generally, this metabolization reduces a person’s BAC by about .015% per hour. For example, someone who has stopped drinking and has a BAC of .08% at 4:00 p.m. would likely have a BAC of about .05% two hours later, at 6:00 p.m.
How BAC Translates to Impairment
Everyone’s body reacts differently to alcohol. However, there’s certainly a correlation between a person’s BAC level and symptoms of intoxication. And these symptoms become more pronounced—and have an increasingly detrimental effect on driving ability—as BAC increases.
Here’s How Much You Can Legally Drink Before Driving If The Blood Alcohol Limit Is Lowered To .05
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) recommended Tuesday that states lower the legal blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level while driving from 0.08 to 0.05 or lower.
Exact blood alcohol levels are hard to estimate, but the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC) created these charts to help men and women know when they’ve had too much to get behind the wheel.
Here, one drink equals 1.5 ounces of 80 proof liquor (40% alcohol), 12 ounces of beer (4.5% alcohol), or 5 ounces of wine (12% alcohol).
Under current law, everything in red (.08 BAC and higher) is legally intoxicated. But if the NTSB gets its way and the legal limit drops to .05, most of the yellow crosses into illegal territory.
That means a 100-pound woman could not have even one drink in an hour without being legally intoxicated.
Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) Calculator
Estimated Blood Alcohol Content Calculator
This estimated blood alcohol content calculator is not a legal definition or indicator of blood alcohol content. The calculator is intended to be an approximate guideline to inform beer drinkers of the estimated potential blood alcohol content range that a person might experience after responsibly enjoying the flavor and diversity of beer. Consult your physician or other qualified health professional to more accurately determine how beer can be part of your individual healthy lifestyle.
There are many variables
There are many variables that can affect beer drinkers’ blood alcohol content level. The examples below are among the many variables that are not taken into account and are not included as factors in this blood alcohol calculator for beer drinkers.
- Food Intake
- Mental and Physical Health
- Percentage of Body Fat
- Water in the Body
- Time from First Beer