What is the Legal Blood Alcohol Content Limit? How Many Drinks?
Rhode Island takes a firm stance against drunk driving. The state’s strict laws and fines are based on age and blood alcohol content (BAC) levels.
RI identifies driving a car while intoxicated (DWI) as any drivers with a BAC of 0.08% or more. Laws are less tolerant for drivers under 21 years old that can be charged with DUI – driving under the influence – for a BAC between 0.02% and 0.08%.
A charge of DWI or DUI that results in serious harm or the loss of life of someone is a felony. When you are imprisoned for suspicion of driving while impaired (DWI) when your BAC is higher than 0.08%, you can be charged if your BAC reaches any level above 0.00%.
If an officer deems you “noticeably impaired”, or if you are categorized as your state’s zero tolerance regulations (e.g., you are under 21 or have children in the car), you could face a DUI if you are under the legal limit.
According to typical wisdom, your BAC level will stay within safe limitations if you have 1 drink each hour. As defined by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), a typical drink is half an ounce of alcohol. Which means one 12-ounce beer, one five-ounce glass of wine, and one 1.5-ounce shot of distilled spirits each count as 1 standard drink.
Everybody knows that conventional knowledge can be incorrect, though, and wildly so sometimes. Intoxication starts after the 1st drink. You should never drink and drive.
A variety of factors can effect your BAC. It is important to understand that these factors are unique for you, and they may differ on one occasion to another. In addition, people with the same BAC may experience different examples of impairment.
Since there are a wide range of factors impacting BAC, it is difficult to calculate how many beverages it could take for a “person with average build” to attain 0.08%. Also, not all beverages are poured the same – a cocktail served at one bar may have two times the alcohol as that served at another bar.
Exact blood alcoholic beverages levels are hard to calculate, but the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC) created these graphs to help women and men know when they’ve reached the maximum BAC limit.
Here, one drink equals 1.5 ounces of 80 proof liquor (40% liquor), 12 ounces of beer(4.5% alcohol), or 5 ounces of wine (12% alcohol).
Under current law, everything in red (.08 BAC and higher) is lawfully intoxicated. These results are approximations, and may differ based how much food you eat before you drink. The graphs here are intended as research only.