BAC Calculator

Using a BAC Calculator Before Driving Drunk

You’ve had a few drinks at the bar and are looking at closing your tab and going home. You want to drive, but don’t want to risk a DUI. This is where having a simple chart that helps you figure out your blood alcohol concentration, or BAC, may help you out. It is a crime to drive where the alcohol has impaired your ability to drive to the slightest degree. And it is it a separate crime to drive with a blood alcohol level of .08 or above, so even a drink or two may not put you at risk.

 

Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC)

What the police are looking for when they give you a breathalyzer is your blood alcohol concentration, or BAC. BAC is simply the amount of alcohol currently coursing through your bloodstream. It is determined through a variety of factors. In addition to how many drinks you’ve consume, you also need to know they type of alcohol you have consumed, the amount of time it took you to drink them, and what your weight is.

The first step to figuring out the concentration levels is to know what counts as one drink. This depends on the type of alcohol you’re drinking. One drink of beer is a 12-ounce bottle, wine is a 5-oz glass, or only one ounce of top-shelf liquor (about a shot). When you have calculated the number of drinks you‘ve consumed, you then compare it to your weight using a calculator. This number will tell you how much alcohol is likely in your blood after drinking. If you are leaving immediately after drinking, then you have not lost any of that concentration. If you wait a few hours after you started drinking, then you will multiply the number of hours by .015%. Finally, subtract the amount of alcohol you have processed from your starting amount.

 

How Can a BAC Help You?

Now that you have figured out how to calculate your blood alcohol concentration, how is that going to help you? Estimating your BAC will give you an idea as to your alcohol level. It’s important to know that the calculation is only a rough estimation of how much alcohol is in your system. Driving under the influence is always an unsafe decision. Your reaction time is affected by alcohol, whether you think so or not.

 

What are the BAC Limits Overall?

When the United States government began fighting drinking and driving in 1938, the legal limit for driving under the influence was a .15 BAC. This means you could have 15% alcohol concentration in your blood. At this level, you will have overall impairment of your gross motor skills, blurred vision, and loss of balance. However, many organizations began working with scientific studies to bring the legal limit down to only .08. At this level, you will only suffer mild impairments of your balance and gross motor skills, but you may still suffer speech and vision impairments. There are some states that are looking to lower it even further to prevent fatalities due to impaired driving.

Any alcohol that impairs your judgment when you are driving can put you at risk of hurting yourself or others. If you violate the law, you are risking criminal prosecution. If you have any doubts of your abilities, it is better to get a designated driver or an alternate way home. Although there are many factors that come into play on how you handle that alcohol, the calculator is a tool that can give you an idea of where you stand.

There are several levels and different laws for the amount of alcohol that has been consumed and is in your blood stream. You can read about each of the amounts, laws, penalties on the following pages:

Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) Calculator

Body Weight In Pounds

Beer 12oz

- 5% ABV

Wine 5oz

- 12% ABV

Liquor 1.5oz

- 40% ABV

Time Since First Drink
Hours
Minutes

Your BAC is approximately:

? %

Depending on your blood alcohol content, you can experience different side effects. Some of those side effects can include (but not limited to):

  • Shorter attention span
  • Lack of fine motor skills & coordination
  • Impaired judgement
  • Loss of memory
  • Delayed motor skills
  • Balance problems
  • Blurred vision


In most states, anything over .08% BAC is against the law and is also dangerous for you and other drivers on the road. You can use our calculator to also increase the time in hours and see how long the estimate will take for you to get to a 0% BAC level.

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