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How many drinks does it take to reach the legal limit?

On Behalf of | Oct 3, 2020 | OWI |

You might have a reputation among your friends for being able to hold your liquor. No matter how many drinks you consume, you may seem more sober than those around you. Yet, appearances can be deceiving, since every drink adds up. One drink too many, and you could find yourself facing charges for operating while intoxicated (OWI).

The factors that determine your BAC

In 49 out of 50 states, it is illegal to operate your vehicle if your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is 0.08% or above. Reaching this limit will likely require you to consume several standard drinks in one sitting. A standard drink is defined as:

  • 12 ounces of beer
  • 5 ounces of wine
  • 5 ounces of distilled spirits

The number of drinks it takes to reach 0.08% varies from person to person. Some people may reach the legal limit after consuming two drinks. Others, though, need more than three or four drinks to hit it. The number of drinks it takes you to reach 0.08% may depend on:

  • Your sex
  • Your lean body mass
  • Whether you drank on a full or empty stomach
  • Whether you have other substances in your system
  • The time frame in which you consumed your drinks

The consequences for OWI charges

Once your BAC reaches 0.08%, you could face significant penalties if an officer pulls you over. Even first-time OWI offenses can come with jail time and a license suspension. Furthermore, the associated fines and expenses are costly, averaging around $15,000.

If you’re wondering whether to have that extra drink, Indiana’s strict OWI penalties may help you make your decision. By staying under the legal limit, you can avoid the consequences that come with charges. Yet, everyone makes mistakes, and the criminal justice system can be confusing and intimidating. A criminal defense attorney can help you protect yourself and understand your options for moving forward.