Tips For Figuring Out Your Personal Blood Alcohol Content (BAC)

Figuring out your blood alcohol level can help to prevent drinking and driving.

After a long, hectic work week full of stress and anxiety, sometimes nothing sounds better than a drink or two out at the bar with friends. However, once you get into the relaxed flow of kicking back with a couple of beers and blowing off some work-week steam, it’s easy to keep ordering “one more round” over and over again. Before you know it, everyone is asking for their checks and grabbing their keys, and you have no idea how much you have just had to drink.

Many people often face the same type of dilemma when they leave the bar-Inside they feel as though they would be fine to drive, but they don’t remember how much they’ve had to drink. This can prompt the scary question that nearly everyone faces when leaving the bar after a night of drinking: “ To drive or not to drive?“

Luckily, there is a simple way to determine whether or not you are over the legal limit to drive-your blood alcohol content (BAC) level. This simple calculation is the most accurate way to find out how much alcohol is in your body and to determine your intoxication level.

What Is A BAC Level?

Blood alcohol content, also known as BAC, is the test that measures the level of alcohol that is found in a person’s blood. Alcohol is typically absorbed into the bloodstream rather quickly, therefore it only takes a few minutes to register a drink. However, while your BAC level will vary depending on several factors, such as your tolerance and body size, there is a general formula that can be used to predict your BAC if your body size and tolerance are average.

However, it’s important to know the legal limits of the country and state that you are in. Federal Regulations state that the legal limit should be no more than .08 percent in the United States, although some states have lower limits. If you are going out to the bar to get a drink with friends, it is important to understand your body as well as the legal limits of your state.

How Do You Determine Your BAC Level?

You are able to calculate your blood alcohol content by taking your weight, age, number of drinks consumed and how long you have been drinking to determine what percentage of your blood contains alcohol. This can be done in a simple four step process:

  1. Count the standard number of drinks you have had over a certain period of time. (The law defines a standard drink as 12 ounces of beer, six ounces of wine or one shot of liquor.)
  2. Determine the amount of time it took for you to consume these drinks.
  3. Multiply the number of standard drinks you consumed by .025 percent. For instance, if you had six drinks, your percentage would be .15 percent.
  4. Subtract .025 percent for each hour that has passed since you started drinking. For example, if you have had six drinks over a three hour period, you would subtract .075 percent from .015 percent (your total from the previous step). That would equal a BAC total of .075 percent-just under the legal limit.

While this is a standard calculation that you can do to determine your BAC level, it is important to remember that there are many different variables that can alter your percentage including your body size, how fast you drink, your gender and any medications you may have taken. If for any reason you doubt your ability to drive safely, you should always be cautious and simply find a different ride home. After all, calling a taxi cab is much cheaper than getting charged with a DWI.