Everyone knows that driving while intoxicated is a very bad idea. Not only can it land you in jail and get your driver’s license suspended, but it also puts your life – and the lives of everyone on the road with you – at risk. What fewer people know, however, is exactly how much they can drink before it becomes illegal and dangerous for them to drive.
Know the legal limit
When you drink alcohol, it gets absorbed into your blood stream. The level of alcohol in your blood is what the police use to determine how intoxicated you are, and whether you are above the legal limit for driving.
Missouri law gives us precise limits on how much alcohol you can have in your blood before it becomes illegal to drive. You will be arrested for driving while intoxicated if you are behind the wheel of a private vehicle with a blood alcohol content of .08 percent. This limit is lowered to .04 percent if you are driving a commercial vehicle.
But most people have no idea how many drinks it takes to reach that limit. The fact is, there is no easy answer to that question, since it depends on a few different things.
The number of drinks you can have depends on a variety of factors
Some of the factors that determine how much you can drink are your body’s size, if you have recently eaten and the type of alcohol you are drinking.
Your body might need less alcohol to become impaired if you are physically smaller. If you have not eaten anything recently, then your body will absorb the alcohol faster. Different types of alcoholic drinks also have different concentrations of alcohol in them.
In general, you should be cautious about driving after you have consumed two drinks within an hour. That number can be adjusted based on the above factors. However, it’s best to play it safe, and lean towards drinking less rather than more. The consequences of driving while intoxicated in Missouri are severe, and it just isn’t worth the risk.