Most of the time, people who get behind the wheel after drinking alcohol know that the legal limit is 0.08%. When a police officer pulls someone over on the way home from the bar and gives them a breath test, that’s the limit that they’re looking for.
This isn’t to say that someone cannot get a DUI if they are under the legal limit. They certainly can. But that limit is when the court can presume that they were impaired. As a result, that is the limit that most drivers try to stay under so that they can lower the odds of facing legal charges.
However, a commercial driver who has a CDL needs to know that they have a lower limit, which is set at 0.04%. This may mean that they are in violation of the law after far fewer drinks than they anticipate. A drunk driving conviction can mean that they lose their CDL and can no longer work, so this is quite a crucial distinction to make.
How many drinks would it take?
There are many factors that influence how fast your BAC rises and how many drinks you would have to consume to get to the legal limit. Weight is one big factor, for instance, as is gender. Men tend to see their BAC rise more slowly, in part because they tend to weigh more.
That being said, a 120-pound woman could be at 0.04% after just a single drink. For a 180 pound man, it would take two drinks.
Either way, you can see that it’s possible to hit that limit very quickly. If you’re facing DUI charges, be sure that you know about all of your legal defense options.