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How many drinks does it take to get drunk?

There is a science to the way alcohol affects your body. The more drinks you consume, the higher your blood alcohol content (BAC) becomes. As BAC rises, you’ll experience more debilitating effects, which can be deadly when operating a motor vehicle. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention break down how your BAC rises the more drinks you have. 

While .08% is the legal driving limit, the effects of alcohol occur well before that point. In fact, most people experience impaired judgment at .05% BAC, which occurs after just two drinks. Standard drink size typically depends on the type of alcohol being consumed. For something highly potent, such as distilled liquors, 1.5-ounces would be considered a single drink. With something like beer, which typically has an alcohol content of about 5%, a single drink would be 12-ounces. 

Multitasking, visual tracking, and judgment ability all diminish at .05 BAC. By .08% BAC, which occurs after about three standard drinks, coordination is greatly reduced, while a person may also experience problems controlling the steering wheel. Judgment is impaired even further by this point, while a person’s alertness may be impacted. Being alert is a must to prevent accidents when faced with unexpected road hazards and occurrences. 

Five drinks bring the BAC up to .10%. Braking ability is impacted, as is coordination and thinking. Two more drinks and a person’s BAC will be .15%. Muscle control is greatly diminished, balance degrades, and information process is significantly affected. This combination of physical and mental effects make it all but impossible to control a vehicle effectively. Not only does this increase a person’s accident risk, it also put their lives and the lives of others in grave danger. 

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