It is no secret that alcohol is the number one most abused drug in the United States, and the inevitable is going to happen: there are going to be those who will drink and drive. But, are those who drink two beers as opposed to ten or more still at risk for a Driving While Intoxicated? A common question that our clients ask us is "how much alcohol can a person drink before they become 'legally impaired'?"
The answer to this is unclear based on the many outside factors that can have an affect on a person's BAC, or blood alcohol content. The amount of time spent drinking, how large the person is, whether or not the drinking is taking place on an empty stomach, and other certain factors can all have an effect on the metabolizing of alcohol. When taking these issues into consideration, all can alter the BAC in different ways. Consider an average 175-pound man; if he drinks two beers in a matter of one hour with no food in his system, that puts his BAC at slightly above a 0.04. Taking two shots of hard liquor (whiskey, rum, vodka, etc.) or downing two more beers pushes his BAC to 0.08. Consuming one more drink then puts him at 0.10, exceeding the legal BAC limit. In other words, having "a couple of drinks" can be more than enough to push someone to the point of legal impairment.
What does it mean to have a "legal limit" for drunk driving? It is true that all states have established a BAC limit, which in most cases is 0.08. It is unlawful for any person to operate any sort of vehicle while having a BAC at or above a state's level. These states have also deemed it illegal to drive "under the influence" of alcohol, which means that is it possible for a person to be considered under the influence even at a much lower BAC.
So, how long does it take for alcohol to get out of your system? After reaching its peak, a person's BAC on average will drop about 0.015 per every hour that alcohol is not being consumed. This is a rough estimate, however, as the speed of the reaction varies from person to person. So, if you were casually drinking and reached a peak BAC level of 0.08%, keep in mind that it would take approximately five and a half hours to fully rid the alcohol from your body.
An experienced attorney will evaluate your case and determine whether you have grounds for getting the charges against you dismissed. At Holder Susan Slusher, LLC, we are familiar with the local criminal court system and cases like yours, providing you with the best possible outcome in your case. We represent a wide variety of cases and assist citizens throughout the community. If you need an experienced Columbia attorney to help protect your rights, call (573) 499-1700 for a free initial consultation today.