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Drinking and Driving: Is One Drink Too Many?


Did you know that just one drink can put you over the legal blood alcohol content to drive? Find out what the legal blood alcohol content limit is in Las Vegas, and how to avoid a DUI below.

According to a 2015 national survey, more than 86% of people over the age of 18 have consumed alcohol at some point in their lifetime.

Drinking plays a big part in our social lives. But as you drink, your body absorbs alcohol and it passes into your bloodstream.

As your blood alcohol level increases, your ability to drive will become impaired. Beyond a certain level, you are classed as legally intoxicated.

So read on as we take a closer look at the legal blood alcohol content to drive.

What Is the Legal Blood Alcohol Content?

Blood alcohol content (BAC) is calculated by measuring the mass of alcohol in a specific volume of blood.

So for example, 0.04 grams of alcohol per 100 milliliters of blood equates to a BAC level of 0.04. Throughout the U.S., the legal limit for driving is a BAC of 0.08. This amounts to 0.08 grams of alcohol per 100 milliliters of blood.

If you take a breathalyzer test and your results are exactly 0.08 or higher, then you are above the legal limit.

How Many Drinks Is That for a Man?

If you want to stay within the law, it helps to be able to judge how much alcohol is in your system.

The trouble is that people metabolize alcohol at different rates. There are a number of factors that can affect this such as how much you've eaten or your body fat percentage. But, you can use a rough rule of thumb to give you an idea of how much alcohol is in your system.

One drink is assumed to be 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine, or 1.5 ounces of liquor. Two drinks will be enough to reach your limit if you weigh 100 lbs or less. Three drinks are the limit if you're 140 lbs, four drinks if you're 180 lbs and five drinks if you're 240 lbs.

How Many Drinks for a Woman?

For women, the limits are a little lower.

You can only have one drink if you weigh 100 lbs or less before you are over the limit. At 120 lbs, you can have two drinks and remain below the legal limit. You can manage up to three drinks if you're 160 lbs, and four drinks if you're 220 lbs or above.

How Long Will It Stay in My System?

Your body eliminates alcohol from your bloodstream over time. The speed at which this will happen will also vary from person to person. Women tend to eliminate alcohol from their system at a faster rate.

As a rough approximation, your BAC level will reduce by 0.015 for every hour that passes after you stop drinking. So if you're at the legal limit, it would take around five hours for the alcohol to leave your system.

What Should I Do If I'm over the Limit?

If your blood alcohol content level is over 0.08, then you definitely shouldn't be driving.

But as we have seen, judging your BAC level isn't an exact science. If you've made a mistake and get arrested for a DUI then you're going to need a good attorney. We can provide aggressive and affordable representation with personal attention to every client.

We can meet with you to discuss your rights and all potential legal consequences from your arrest. Contact us today at (702) 848-5000 for a free consultation.

Dan Hill