How Many Drinks to .08?

Jim Mitchell Medley

Written by  Pro

DUI / DWI Attorney - Houston, TX

Contributor Level 15

Posted over 2 years ago. Applies to Texas, 6 helpful votes

Email

1

AMOUNT OF ALCOHOL IN EACH DRINK

The size and alcohol content of each drink is the most important factor in controlling when breath or blood alcohol levels will reach .08. Liquor and wine are the most unpredictable, because the size of each drink is only an estimation. The difference between a shot and a double shot may not be obvious to a novice bartender. Some bartenders may purposefully pour drinks extra strong or extra large for friends or good tippers. Obviously, this will cause a person to need a DWI lawyer if they are deciding how many drinks to have based on calculators and averages. Beer is the most predictable, since the alcohol content and size of each drink is more consistent. Police chemists often try to convert breath test or blood test results to a number of drinks when they come to DWI court.

2

SIZE OF THE DRINKER

The body size of the drinker is an important factor in how many drinks a person must consume to become over .08. It is important to remember that lean body mass is the important characteristic- not weight. Alcohol does not distribute to fatty areas, so a heavy person who has a lot of fat weight on them will not be able to drink any more drinks than a thinner person before they are over .08. It stands to reason that a 120 pound person will only be able to drink half as much as a 240 pound person before having a .08 blood alcohol level, assuming each person has similar body fat ratio. A small size person will need a DWI lawyer much sooner than a larger drinker.

3

GENDER OF THE DRINKER

Males and females have different rates of handling alcohol also. A female will generally reach a higher alcohol level upon drinking the same number if drinks as a male- even if the male is no larger than the female. This is due to a combination of factors, including the fact that females tend to have a higher proportion of body fat than males, so the ladies tend to need a DWI attorney faster than similarly sized males drinking at the same pace.

4

DRINKING OVER TIME

The shorter the time period of the drinking, the higher the blood alcohol concentration will go. The body can only eliminate alcohol so fast. In fact, the body generally can only eliminate about 3/4 of a drink an hour. Some people may be a little faster or slower than this average though. At this average rate though, a person would require 8 hours to burn off a six pack of beer. If a person is drinking strong drinks and is perhaps below average on elimination, just 3 or 4 drinks over a couple of hours could cause them to need a DWI lawyer.

5

DRINKING ON AN EMPTY STOMACH

The presence of food in the stomach slows the absorption of alcohol into the blood. Drinking on an empty stomach will cause a person's blood alcohol level to become higher and high faster than if alcohol were consumed with a good sized meal. If a person estimates the number of drinks it takes them to become over .08 with food, the number of drinks that will actually get them intoxicated will be less if the drinking occurs on an empty stomach. Many people who are arrested for DWI and end up needing a DWI lawyer were arrested after drinking on an empty stomach.

6

SHOULD I SUBMIT TO A BREATH TEST OR A VOLUNTARY BLOOD TEST?

Due to all of the factors discussed above and others, predicting whether a blood or breath test will be over .08 is a risky prediction at best. Every driver is presumed innocent of DWI unless evidence proves otherwise. Voluntarily blowing into the police breath test after an arrest for DWI is rarely in a person's best interests. If asked to provide a voluntary breath or blood test following a stop for DWI, obtain the advice of a DWI lawyer before giving evidence to the police, no matter what the police tell you. Of course, do not physically resist a blood test if the police have a warrant; you could risk being seriously injured by the police or nurses.

Additional Resources

Texas Blood Alcohol Percentage Chart

BAC Calculator - DWI Lawyer Reference

Rate this guide

Related Topics

DUI

The definition, charges, and penalties for driving under the influence (DUI) vary by state and depend on a number of factors.

Criminal defense

Criminal law establishes the classifications of crimes, how guilt or innocence is determined, and the types of punishment or rehabilitation that may be imposed.

Can't find what you're looking for? Ask a Lawyer

Get free answers from experienced attorneys.

 

Ask now

28,384 answers this week

3,537 attorneys answering