How Many Drinks Can I Have Before I Can’t Drive?

There are many variables to factor when determining whether someone can drive after drinking, and the first is blood alcohol content. The term itself refers to the amount of alcohol relative to the amount of blood in a person’s body. This number depends on the percentage of pure alcohol in the drinks being consumed, the drinker’s body weight and the amount of time that the person has been drinking. The legal limit of .08 can be reached by some people with just one drink in an hour. For others it may be two drinks per hour if they are larger. But, the problem with using blood alcohol content as a measure for intoxication is that different people have very different reactions to alcohol.

Tolerance and Impaired Driving

A person who is relatively new to drinking will feel the effects of alcohol much faster than someone who is more experienced. The body develops a tolerance to alcohol, meaning that over time it takes greater and greater quantities to feel the same effects. Just because a more experienced drinker doesn’t feel buzzed does not mean she or he is unimpaired. The psychological effects of alcohol dependency can cause regular drinkers to feel much more in control than they actually are, and this may lead them to believe that they are safe to drive. A smaller person or a person with little experience with alcohol may be well below the .08 limit but be too impaired to drive safely. The euphoria experienced after excessive alcohol consumption can give a person a sense of over-confidence or invulnerability. This convinces people they can drive when they shouldn’t.

How to Prevent Drunk Driving

One of the first casualties of a drinking session is common sense and judgment. If you are planning to drink, even if you don’t think you’ll drink much, give someone who is not drinking the authority to hold your keys. Don’t rely on your own impaired judgment to decide if you’re safe. Remember, it’s not only your freedom or finances on the line. One bad choice can lead to your own death or that of someone on the road with you. No celebration is worth spending the rest of your life dealing with the fallout from a drunken driving accident.

Drinking and Driving Information

If you have found yourself wondering if you were OK to drive more than a few times, it could be that you have developed an alcohol abuse problem. Not all alcoholics are raging partiers or incoherent drunks. If you are concerned about your use of alcohol, call our 24 hour, toll-free helpline and our specially trained experts will help you figure it out. We can help you rediscover the freedom and joy of a life lived beyond the reach of alcohol. Don’t wait another day. Pick up the phone.

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