You know that you shouldn’t finish off your last beer, walk to the parking lot behind the bar and hop in your pickup truck. If you’ve had a few drinks, it’s not yet safe to drive, and you could be well over the legal limit.
You also know that your Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) will fall over time. Many people stay and have a glass of water, go get a cup of coffee or do something else to kill time before they drive. They think waiting for a little while can make it safe and legal to get in the car and head home. But just how long do you have to wait to be safe?
It’s probably longer than you think
Your BAC does not actually drop very fast. If you just wait around for 15 minutes to half an hour, it’s going to be virtually unchanged. Whether you’re over the legal limit or not just depends on how much you had to drink prior to that.
For instance, say you are a 180-pound man who had six drinks. It will take about eight hours for your BAC to return to zero. If you’re a 180-pound woman who had six drinks, it could be more like 9.5 hours. Comparably, if you only have five drinks, then it would take about eight hours.
BAC levels, as you can see, are closely tied to gender and weight. The larger you are, the more drinks it takes to raise your BAC, and it goes up more quickly for women than it does for men.
What if you get arrested?
If you do get picked up on DUI allegations, make sure you are well aware of the defense options you have. A conviction can have serious consequences for your future.