Before we dive into the different factors that go into the blood alcohol content (BAC), it’s important to know what the legal limit actually is in the State of Florida.
A driver is considered legally drunk in Florida when they are a non-commercial driver over the age of 21 with a BAC of .08 or more.
Now that we know the legal limit, the BAC level may vary person-to-person based on the following factors:
- Type of drink: The alcohol content of each beverage varies. For example, beer may have a 5% alcohol by volume, while a glass of wine might have closer to 10% for a smaller amount. Similarly, a drink like vodka or rum may have an even higher percentage of alcohol by volume, and how heavily it is poured can impact your BAC.
- Body type: The body type of the person who is drinking plays a role in how many drinks will put them over the limit. For example, a person who weighs less than 120 pounds may be legally over the limit after 1-2 drinks, whereas a person with a larger body type can tolerate 2-3 drinks before hitting the limit.
- Gender: Statistically, men are able to tolerate more drinks than women. Of course, this might be different on an individual level, but it usually factors into the body type of the person drinking.
- Number of Drinks: The number of drinks is another factor in determining whether you’re over the legal limit. Typically 1 drink with a lower alcohol by volume may not send you over the BAC limit to drive. However, if you feel tipsy or buzzed you shouldn’t drive. It’s also good to avoid more than one drink if you anticipate driving afterwards.
- Factors Other than Alcohol: In some cases, one drink may be sufficient to cause someone to be impaired if other circumstances contribute to the impairment. For example, one drink combined with prescription medications, illicit drugs, or even fatigue may cause someone to become too impaired to operate a motor vehicle.