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Blood Alcohol Concentration When Drinking Beer

Charl Joost
Last Updated: February 27th, 2023

When spending a night out on the town, it can be a pain to keep track of your alcohol consumption. This is especially important if you are allocated the task of being the designated driver.

The trick to enjoying yourself whilst still staying responsible is to pace yourself and stay within the limit.

But the question is, how do I manage my Blood Alcohol Concentration When Drinking Beer and how many beers does it take to reach .08% Blood Alcohol Concentration?

Well, in short, it generally takes about four drinks an hour for men to reach a Blood Alcohol Concentration of .08%. For women, on average, it takes just three drinks per hour to reach the same percentage.

What Is the Limit to Legally Drive After Drinking?

The federal limit in the United States to legally drive after drinking is a Blood Alcohol Concentration, or BAC, of .08%.

A Blood Alcohol Concentration level of .08% is the minimum level at which you can be considered impaired to drive. If you take a breathalyzer and blow a .08% BAC or above, you are legally guilty of driving under the influence.

whiskey with car keys

How Many Beers Does It Take to Reach .08% Blood Alcohol Concentration?

The number of drinks it takes to reach a Blood Alcohol Concentration of .08%, which is the legal limit in the United States, depends on the person.

The two main factors that affect the number of drinks it takes before you are considered under the influence and impaired to drive are your gender and your weight.

On average, it takes fewer drinks for women to reach a higher Blood Alcohol Concentration. Weight is also a factor because the less you weigh, the faster you will increase your BAC.

This is typically in reference to a person’s ratio of lean body mass rather than their actual weight.

The general guidelines of how many drinks it takes to reach a .08% BAC is as follows:

Approximate Weight

Approximate Number of Beers Per Hour

Blood Alcohol Concentration

100 lb

3 drinks


140 lb

4 drinks


180 lb

5 drinks


220 lb

6 drinks


The above table is in reference to a man’s consumption, women will typically require one less drink to reach the same BAC level.

beer barrel with beer glasses

What Is My Blood Alcohol Concentration After One Beer?

After drinking just one beer you can expect your Blood Alcohol Concentration to be about .02%. It is estimated that your BAC is increased by .02% per drink you consume per hour.

The general rule of thumb is that your body can typically process one beer per hour.

The more drinks you consume in the duration of one hour, the higher your Blood Alcohol Concentration will get. Drinking a beer every hour will result in your body maintaining the BAC between about .02% and .05%.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Many Drinks Can I Have Per Hour to Stay Under the Legal Limit?

Generally, one unit of alcohol or one drink consumed per hour is recommended in order to stay under the legal limit of .08% BAC.

Is A BAC of .27% High?

Yes, a Blood Alcohol Concentration of .27% is considered high. Typically, a Blood Alcohol Concentration between .37% to .40% or above can result in death. Most people begin to feel the effects of alcohol at a BAV of just .04%.

Can Food Make Set Off a Breathalyzer?

Certain foods can set off a breathalyzer. This is due to fermentation. Some sugary foods can ferment and turn into alcohol.

Can Health Conditions Set Off a Breathalyzer?

Yes, it is possible for certain health conditions to set off a breathalyzer. Health conditions that may set off a breathalyzer include diabetes, heart disease, acid reflux or heartburn, and even gum disease.

Blood Alcohol Concentration When Drinking Beer – Conclusion

To keep safe on a night out, it is best to keep a check on what you consume. If you have had a few more than you should have, rather take a breather for an hour before you decide to drive anywhere in a car.

The legal BAC limit is .08%, at which point you will be considered impaired and should not be driving.

About The Author

Charl Joost

Charl is a trainer, public speaker, and professional writer. While he has been coached to niche down, he has many passions. These include golf, gardening, technology, and a decent cup of coffee or two. Charl loves to learn about new products and tries everything he writes about.

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