Did you know that around 32 people in the United States die daily because of drunk-driving-related accidents? When breaking this number down, that’s about one death every 40 minutes. This statistic is rather eye-opening and shows how reckless it is to get behind the wheel of a vehicle while drunk.

While most of us know that drinking and driving is very dangerous, it’s easy to forget how even drinking a little can put yourself and others at risk. The average person wouldn’t want to get behind the wheel when they were too drunk to do so, but you may not remember the laws or how much is really safe to drink. Perhaps you learned some of this information in a health class or read about it somewhere, but it never hurts to get a refresher.

In this guide, you’ll learn more about alcohol and driving so you can keep the roads safer for all.

What Is The Legal Limit?

One of the most common questions is how much is legal to consume before driving. Instead, you should try to err on the side of caution. If you’ve had a drink or two, it’s better to get a ride or use public transportation.

Still, knowing the laws is helpful. The exact laws related to drunk driving vary from state to state, but the vast majority quantity the legal limit as a blood alcohol concentration of .08. 

How Much Can You Drink Before Reaching The Legal Limit?

Calculating how much you can drink before your blood alcohol content reaches .08 is a rather complicated task. First of all, you have to define how much one drink is, as a glass of wine has different alcohol content than a shot of whisky.

Most of the time, one drink is defined as:

  • An ounce of 100-proof liquor
  • A 12-ounce beer
  • A five-ounce drink of table wine

Then, you have to look at your weight, gender, and height to determine, on average, how long the alcohol will stay in your system. If you want to learn more about these calculations, check out this helpful chart

What If I Have High Tolerance?

While some people assume they will be fine drinking more because they have a higher tolerance, this isn’t how blood alcohol concentration works. Even if you don’t feel very intoxicated, the alcohol is still in your system. It’s dangerous to drive regardless of how you feel.

Can I Be Arrested If I’m Under The Legal Limit?

Yes, it’s still possible to be arrested and charged with a DUI, even if your BAC is under the legal limit. If you were driving recklessly and were drinking, you could still get in trouble with the law. However, it is harder to get a conviction if your BAC is less than .08.

What Are Open Container Laws?

Most states also have laws about having alcohol in the car. These are called open container laws. In some states, passengers are allowed to have open alcohol containers in the vehicle, while in other states, passengers are not. 

No matter the state, the driver can’t have an open container. However, you can transport unopened alcoholic beverages with you in your car, so you don’t have to worry about buying drinks at the grocery store or liquor store. Just make sure they are sealed.

While this guide doesn’t cover all the information on drinking and driving, it is a good refresher on legalities and safety measures. It also helps to do a bit of research on your own. Finally, remember to commit to never drinking and driving.