What’s the “Buzz” on BAC Limits?

BAC levelIf drinking alcohol is a huge part of our culture. Not only are we confronted with images of adults drinking at bars, parties or at family dinners, most of us probably drink as well.  It is common to drink to relax and unwind after a hectic day, or to share drinks with friends, and most people drink responsibly and without incident. They get “buzzed” on beer or wine and then call it a night. But, some people don’t know that once they’re “buzzed,” they’re close to being legally drunk, and keep on trying to maintain that happy feeling. Often, this can lead to a drunk driving incident or worse, all because you’re having a good time.

Being “buzzed” isn’t technically being drunk. That’s just the term used for when you’re close to intoxication, but you’ve yet to fall into the more dangerous side of drinking. When you’re “buzzed,” you’re relaxed and your inhibitions are lowered. You may laugh more, and more loudly, but, you are still able to walk, your speech isn’t slurred and you can still focus without effort. Keep in mind, however, that “buzzed driving is drunk driving,” despite the legal definition for drunk driving, and that once you’ve had any amount of alcohol to drink, you should never get behind the wheel of a car.

When you feel that “buzz” from drinking, your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is probably right around .06% – close enough to the legal .08% BAC limit for drunk driving. That means that one more drink could put you over the limit, or that the remainder of what you’ve already been drinking hasn’t quite “hit” yet. Typically speaking, one standard serving of alcohol is enough to raise BAC around .02%, and since few drinks today are “standard” in terms of the percentage of alcohol, your “buzz” may just be the beginning of your night of intoxication, and a slippery slope into drunk driving.

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