Everyone handles alcohol in different ways, and there’s no simple formula for how much any one person can drink before they could be charged with driving under the influence (DUI). To reach a blood alcohol level of .08, you’ll have to have 80 milligrams of alcohol for every 100ml of blood, but that can occur with one or two drinks or take as many as 4 or 5 – it all depends on the person.
When you’re out having a good time it’s easy to keep tipping back drink after drink, and because it’s all too easy to lose track of what you’ve consumed, it’s also all too easy to end up over the .08 legal blood alcohol limit. But if your goal during a night out is to stay under the legal limit, just remember that blowing under .08 on a breathalyzer doesn’t mean it’s safe for you to drive, and you can still be charged with driving under the influence even if you register less than the legal limit.
A recent statement by CEO Andrew Murie of the Canadian chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) suggests that men can safely drink two standard drinks and women one standard drink to stay under. 05, but even at the .05 level some people will find they lose the coordination and mental attentiveness required to safely drive.
The distinction of how much to drink before driving is pretty cut and dried for young people. Most states have zero tolerance laws, meaning that if the young person is caught driving with even one drink in their system they could be charged with DUI and immediately lose their privilege to drive.
Getting behind the wheel after even one drink is a mistake, and if you want to stay safe and avoid a DUI charge, you should always appoint a designated driver before you head out for the evening.