Unlike most liquids or food, alcohol is absorbed into the bloodstream. This is why it might not take long for alcohol to impair your senses – and why your blood alcohol content (BAC) is also such a significant factor if you face charges of driving under the influence.
You are likely aware that Tennessee’s legal BAC limit is 0.08%. But this leads many to ask: how many drinks does it take to reach this limit?
This question is more complex than it seems
Although this is a common question that people have, it is frequently a misguided one. There are too many variables that can impact BAC for there to be a straightforward answer. Many factors can influence BAC, including:
- Type of drink
Even so, several sources have attempted to answer this question. Researchers and studies estimate that:
- One drink can roughly increase your BAC by 0.02%
- Depending on certain factors, about three to six drinks in one hour could lead to a 0.08% BAC in most people
But how reliable are these estimates? After all, there are many different types of alcoholic beverages. A mixed drink and a bottle of beer could have a very different effect on your BAC.
Additionally, it is critical to remember that 0.08% is the legal limit. This does not mean that any BAC below that percentage reduces the risk of DUI charges in the event police pull them over.
So, what should you consider instead?
It is absolutely critical to note that:
- None of the estimates listed above are exact calculations, and you should not rely on them as such
- Everyone is different, which means everyone will react differently when they consume alcohol
- 0.08% might be the legal limit, but any BAC above zero could put you at risk of a DUI if you are pulled over
Any BAC percentage could be unsafe depending on a number of factors. And while it can be helpful to understand how alcohol affects you – and your BAC – so you can plan ahead, you should not focus on how many drinks it takes to reach the legal limit. You should consider how alcohol affects you, and make sure you have a plan to avoid driving under the influence – and the risk of DUI charges.