David J. Glatthorn Palm Beach Personal Injury Lawyer David J. Glatthorn
David J. Glatthorn

Safe Holidays in Boca Raton: How Long Must I Wait to Drive After Drinking?

Spiked eggnog and New Year's toasts: it's no wonder that drunk driving accidents increase during the holidays! Before you drink and drive this holiday season, take a moment to learn how long alcohol stays in the body.

After you drink that mulled wine or other glass of holiday cheer and the alcohol is absorbed into your blood stream, there are only a few ways it can leave the body.  About ten percent of the alcohol leaves through the breath, urine, and perspiration. The remaining 90 percent must be metabolized.

Are you a small person with a fast metabolism? Or a larger person with a slower metabolism? It doesn't matter.  Everyone, male or female, big or small, old or young, metabolizes alcohol at the same rate of .015 grams per 100 ml of blood per hour. This means, that no matter your size, to find the amount of time it will take for alcohol to leave your body, you just divide your BAC by .015.

Blood alcohol level is determined by a combination of weight, the amount of alcohol consumed, and other factors including your sex, general health, and age.  A 140-pound woman has a BAC of .08 after 2 and a half drinks in one hour. A 180-pound male will need 4 drinks to reach the same level of intoxication. A drink refers to a 12-ounce can of beer, five ounces of wine, a shot of straight liquor, or a single mixed drink.

A 160-pound man who has had a 12 ounce beer will have no alcohol in his blood after one hour and 20 minutes.  If he has 4 drinks and is legally intoxicated with a BAC of .09, he will have to wait five hours and 20 minutes to be alcohol-free. After 7 drinks, he will have to wait ten hours for all the alcohol to be gone.

You can't speed up the process, but you can slow it down.  If you eat while drinking, metabolizing the alcohol will take longer because the food must also be metabolized. However, having food with alcohol is good because it can reduce overall blood alcohol level.

If you are at a party and have several drinks with dinner, you may believe that you are fine to drive at the end of the night. But, you may still have a significant amount of alcohol in your system.  Stay safe this holiday season. If you choose to drink, don't get behind the wheel. It is never responsible to drive drunk.

If you have lost a loved one to a driver under the influence of alcohol, you deserve accountability. Boca Raton accident injury lawyer David Glatthorn can help. Contact David Glatthorn at 866-413-5525.

Learn more about the rights of Florida accident victims in our free book, The Florida Accident Workbook: Tools, Tips & Tactics to Resolve Your Injury Claim. Use the link on this website to request your copy.

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Since 1980, Attorney David Glatthorn has been serving the residents of West Palm Beach. He works in many areas of personal injury law, including car accidents, slip and fall injuries, workplace injuries and many others. Attorney Glatthorn is known for his dedication and experience. If you were injured due to another person's negligence, call David Glatthorn Law today.