How Long Should You Wait To Drive After Drinking?

While taking a cab or request a ride on Uber or Lyft are great alternatives to driving, sometimes people decide to still drive after consuming alcohol. So how long should someone wait to drive after drinking?

Alcohol metabolizes at a rate of 0.015 of blood alcohol concentration (BAC) each hour, despite multiple physical factors such as age, weight, and gender. In order to determine the approximate amount of time it takes for the alcohol to leave your system, you must calculate your BAC and then divide the answer by 0.015.

In order to calculate your BAC, you must account for the following factors, which include:

  1. Age
  2. Weight
  3. Gender
  4. How long you have been drinking
  5. How much you drank

An easier alternative to figuring out your BAC would be to use a personal breathalyzer or digital breath analyzer. Ensure that it’s properly calibrated and equipped with fresh batteries. Once you divide your BAC by 0.015, the resulting outcome is the amount of time alcohol takes to metabolize in your body.

For instance, a 150-pound male drinking one beer in 15 minutes will have a BAC of 0.023. When you divide 0.023 by 0.015, it results to 1.5, meaning it would take an hour and a half for his BAC to drop to zero. However, since the legal limit for operating a vehicle is a 0.08 BAC, you may not have to wait as long in comparison to those waiting for their BAC to reach zero.

In order to determine the approximate amount of time you must wait in order to attain a BAC of 0.08, you must subtract 0.08 from your calculated BAC, then divide that number by 0.015. At the Law Offices of Keith J. Nedwick, P.C., our Norman DUI defense attorney advises that you wait another hour or so to ensure your BAC falls below 0.08.


For more information, do not hesitate to contact our firm today.


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