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How Much Can I Drink Before I'm Over the Legal Limit?

Posted by Christopher Martens | Sep 28, 2015 | 0 Comments

Many adults drink casually and socially, in a responsible way. Those who prefer to drink more may opt to do so at home or arrange for alternative transportation home after they have been drinking. Some people abstain from drinking before driving altogether. While this last option isn't always necessary, it is the only way to ensure you face no risk of getting arrested for a DUI at all. Most people just try to know when they've reached their limit and just get a ride home if they do. Knowing when you've reached your limit is the hard part. In terms of estimating what your blood alcohol concentration, or BAC, would be after so many drinks, it can be hard to know where that line between responsible drinking and intoxication is. Knowing when to stop is a useful skill to have to ensure you never get a DUI while driving after drinking. Unfortunately, given the wide range of alcohol content percentages in drinks and the different rates at which your body can process alcohol, knowing exactly how much you can drink and not be over California's blood alcohol concentration limit, which is .08% for first time DUI offenders, can be hard.

The best way to know what your blood alcohol concentration level is after drinking is to take a breathalyzer test. There are many portable models available now at retail electronics stores and online. However, they aren't always cheap and can be inconvenient to carry around with you for testing. They are also conspicuous and may give people the impression you've gotten into trouble before for drinking and driving. The second best way to know how many drinks you can have before reaching California's BAC limit is to take a look at the science. Based on some factors, including your body composition, health and general ability to handle alcohol, you may come to a pretty accurate number of drinks you can have before being too intoxicated to legally drive in California. First, it is important to keep in mind that it isn't about how may drinks you have, it is about how much alcohol was in each drink and how your body processes that alcohol. Alcoholic drinks can vary in their alcohol content per serving by quite a bit. However, if you are like most people and have a go-to drink you prefer, you can work with that consistency to come to an estimate of how many drinks you can have and still legally drive.

Every person will be different and based on California DUI law, it isn't about how many drinks you've had but just how much alcohol is in your blood stream at the time you were driving. While you can't predict exactly how much is in your blood stream, even less so what the breathalyzer will pick up on, taking the time to be aware of how your body processes alcohol can keep you safe when driving and greatly reduce your changes of getting a DUI. There are many online BAC calculators that may give you a better idea of what your BAC might be after a few of your favorite drinks. These calculators vary in how scientific they are but most will give you a general idea of how much you can drink before reaching the legal limit. However, keep in mind that without a breathalyzer or blood test reading, you cannot know for sure that you will not be in danger of getting a DUI. It is also important to keep in mind that breathalyzers have been known to be inaccurate and this is a common point of defense in DUI cases. If you are facing DUI charges, consult with an experienced DUI attorney about your case. If you have reason to believe the BAC reading was inaccurate, there may be ways you can challenge said reading in court. As previously mentioned, breathalyzer readings are not 100% accurate. The breathalyzer machine is a complex instrument that requires proper use and maintenance, without which their accuracy is greatly compromised. Inaccurate readings can and have successfully been challenged in court. If successfully challenged, the charges may be dropped.

Are you or a loved one facing DUI charges? DUI defense attorney Christopher Martens knows how to best advise you in this scenario, potentially saving you time, money and a DUI conviction. Serving the Visalia and Fresno areas, The Law Offices of Christopher Martens can provide expert DUI defense counsel and will not be afraid to take your case to trial to defend your rights. Call our office at 559-967-7386 or email us at [email protected] for a free consultation.

About the Author

Christopher Martens

Bio Visalia and Bakersfield criminal defense attorney who has dedicated his life to helping those who have been accused of crimes or injured due to the negligence of others.


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