Calculating Blood Alcohol Concentration Levels
With the Holiday party season upon us we thought it would be a good time to pass along some recommendations and information to help calculate blood alcohol concentration levels and ensure safe and responsible holiday celebrations.
One of the more frequent questions we get is “How many drinks does it take ….?” (Fill in the blank with “to be legally intoxicated,” or “to reach 0.08 BAC,” etc.) The answer depends on gender, body size, and rate of drinking. A rule of thumb is that one drink creates a BAC level of 0.02 for a man weighing about 160 lb. A woman of the same size will likely have a higher intoxication level for the same amount of alcohol because of the difference in body composition. A larger person will have a lower intoxication level, and a smaller person a higher intoxication level for the same amount of alcohol.
- For specific calculations try our on-line Drink Wheel.
- Order our Combo BAC Wheel that estimates intoxication levels for men and for women.
- See our one-page Alcohol Facts sheet for a quick summary.
Want to provide breath alcohol tests for your guests? Because most people don’t have access to accurate breath testing devices they have no idea of their intoxication levels when drinking. The experience of associating current feelings of impairment with accurate BAC levels can be very educational – i.e., “I’m not even at 0.08 BAC and I don’t feel like I should be driving…” Inquire about our new and refurbished Alco-Sensors or our Alco-Breath Tube if interested in this option.
What is a safe intoxication level? The only truly safe intoxication level is zero. To be safe, if you drink, use a designated driver. See the MADD website which has some excellent resources for designated drivers, recognizing and reporting drunk drivers, and for safe holiday parties.