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DUI in California: How Many Drinks Will Put You Over the Limit?

Posted on in Criminal Defense

San Jose DUI defense attorney, DUI charges, BAC, legal blood alcohol content, DUI defense attorneyIt is not uncommon to want to go out and have a few drinks over dinner or when visiting neighborhood bars and taverns with friends. Unfortunately, while you may think you are safe to drive if you spread out the amount of alcohol you consume over the course of the night, or stick to beer or wine rather than hard liquors, you could still be at risk for DUI charges.

While the legal blood alcohol content (BAC) limit of 0.08 percent in California may seem high, our DUI defense attorneys have handled numerous cases where just one or two drinks put someone over this limit.

How One or Two Drinks Can Put You Over the Legal Limit

There are a variety of formulas designed to help you stay under the state legal BAC limit when you intend on driving, such as spacing out drinks to an average of one an hour. There are also tools currently on the market to warn you when you have had too much and are at risk for getting a DUI. Unfortunately, none of these are fool proof and the simple fact is that using any amount of alcohol behind the wheel could result in criminal charges.

According to a Business Insider report, even one or two drinks can put you over the legal limit, depending on factors such as your gender, your weight, and whether you drink on an empty stomach. The amount and the type of alcohol you consume also plays a role.

While a 1.5 ounce shot of hard liquor, which contains roughly 40 percent alcohol content, is stronger than a 12 ounce beer (4.5 percent) or a five ounce glass of wine (12 percent), sticking to ‘lighter’ adult beverages is no guarantee against a DUI. In fact, the false sense of security you may feel with wine or light beer may cause you to drink more, thereby increasing your overall BAC level.

How Much is Too Much?

The California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) advises that the legal blood alcohol content limit for DUI varies depending on your age and the type of driving you do: 

  • For those 21 and over: .08 BAC or greater;

  • For those under 21 or currently on a DUI suspension: 0.01 BAC or greater;

  • For those who operate commercial vehicles: .04 BAC or greater.

In addition to your blood alcohol content, you can also be pulled over and charged if the police officer in your case notices you acting as if you are intoxicated. With state prohibitions against driving under the influence of street drugs and over the counter or pharmaceutical medications, scoring low on a BAC test will not necessarily prevent you from being arrested and charged.

We Can Help You Today

If you find yourself facing any type of DUI or related charges, you need an experienced San Jose DUI defense attorney to immediately begin working on your case. Call or contact Jachimowicz Law Group online and request a consultation to see how we can help protect you.

Sources:

http://www.businessinsider.com/drinks-before-driving-if-bac-is-05-2013-5

https://www.dmv.ca.gov/portal/dmv/detail/pubs/hdbk/actions_drink

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