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How Many Alcoholic Beverages Can You Drink before Your Driving is Affected?

You probably already know that your level of alcohol intoxication is determined by the ratio of alcohol to blood in your body. Based on that ratio, California created its blood alcohol concentration, or BAC, limit. Anyone at or above the following limits can be accused of driving under the influence, or DUI, in the state:

  • 0.08 percent for drivers in passenger motor vehicles.
  • 0.04 percent for commercial drivers.
  • 0.00 percent for any driver under the age of 21 years old. This means California has zero tolerance for drivers in this age group drinking and driving.

The Law Offices of Jonathan Franklin wants to stress that it is always better to stop driving after drinking. You should never take into consider whether you are or are not under the BAC limit. This way you can avoid the possibility of being accused of driving under the influence.

Drunk vs. Impaired

The difference between being drunk and being impaired can be confusing. They are separate concepts. For instance, an individual may be under the legal intoxication threshold. However, their ability to drive is impaired. An individual may be drunk, but have the ability to drive without committing a traffic violation like speeding or swerving.

It is also the reason that some people are initially charged with DUI, but later the charge is reduced to wet reckless. A wet reckless charge could mean that your BAC was under the legal limit of 0.08 percent and that you were driving in a way that was reckless. In other words, your ability to drive was impaired.

How to Figure out Intoxication

Everyone is different when it comes to how much he or she can drink before becoming intoxicated. For example, you may be able to drink three alcoholic beverages and not be intoxicated. However, your friend who has a smaller body frame than you may only be able to drink one beer before becoming intoxicated. Law enforcement may not want you to know this, but there is a way to figure out whether you are legally too drunk to drive.

Know your body weight in pounds. You must then compare it to the number of alcoholic drinks you’ve had. One alcoholic drink is equivalent to:

  • 1.5 oz. shot of hard liquor.
  • 12 oz. of beer.
  • 5 oz. glass of wine.

Let’s say you weigh 200 pounds. One alcoholic beverage would put your level of intoxication at .016 percent. This is below the legal limit. However, six alcoholic drinks would put you over the legal limit of 0.097 percent.

Let’s say that your friend weighs 120 pounds. One alcoholic beverage would put her level of intoxication at 0.027 percent. Three drinks would put her level of intoxication at 0.081 percent. This is over the legal limit to drive in California.

To understand more about how the number of alcoholic beverages impairs your driving, contact the Law of Offices of Jonathan Franklin. In addition, if you are facing any type of DUI or criminal charge, contact us. We will discuss your case and how to effectively fight it.

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Contact Information

Jonathan Franklin DUI Attorney
6777 Hollywood Blvd Ste 508
Los Angeles, CA 90028