There are various factors that will affect every individual differently in order to determine blood alcohol content.
How many drinks is too many?
California - and every other state in the U.S. - has a *legal limit* for drinking and driving. The limit is a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08 percent, and drivers with a BAC over 0.08 will be presumed to be intoxicated for the purposes of a criminal case for driving under the influence (DUI). Many people frequently wonder just how many drinks it will take to put them over the legal limit, so they can tell when they might be arrested for DUI or not.
The truth is, there is no one answer to this question, as there are too many variables to consider for each individual person. First, consider what constitutes a *drink.* Generally speaking, a drink is considered to be one of the following:
* 12 ounces of beer up to 4.5% percent alcohol
* Five ounces of wine up to 12% percent alcohol
* 1.5 ounces of liquor up to 40% percent alcohol (80 proof)
However, anyone who has ordered a drink from a bar or had a friend pour a glass of wine knows that the measurements are rarely exact. One *glass* of wine often contains more the five ounces and a mixed drink may contain much more than 1.5 ounces of liquor. Therefore, it can be very difficult to accurately track the number of *drinks* you had.
Next, many different factors can change the way alcohol affects one person from another. Some factors include:
* How much you had (or didn*t have) to eat recently
* Medical conditions
* How quickly you are drinking
With all of these factors and variables, there is not one standard of how much you can drink and still stay under the legal limit.
The *Legal Limit* is Misleading
Ensuring your BAC is under 0.08 does not mean you cannot be arrested and charged with DUI. If an officer observes signs of intoxication, this may enough to have probable cause to arrest you, even if your BAC is still under the legal limit. The legal limit only creates a presumption of impairment under the law - it is not a line in the sand for when you can and cannot face DUI charges. Many people are convicted of DUI with a BAC under 0.08, so focusing on this level of intoxication will not always help you avoid a DUI arrest. To complicate matters further, the legal limit for commercial drivers is 0.04 percent, and the limit for underage drivers is 0.01 percent under California*s Zero Tolerance Law.
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