How many drinks does it take to get drunk?

The holiday season is right around the corner. That means that more and more people will be taking to the road after drinking at parties and gatherings. Drunk driving not only causes legal woes, it also endangers yourself, your passengers, and any other drivers you encounter while on the road. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention explain how many drinks it takes before you feel the effects of drinking. 

The first step is to understand what constitutes a standard drink size. For highly potent alcohol, such as liquor, 1.5-ounces would equal one standard drink. With something like beer, which tends to have a lower alcohol content than liquor, 12-ounces is considered standard. The alcohol content for wine usually falls somewhere in the middle, so the standard size would be about 5-ounces. Keep in mind that alcohol content varies between different brands of beer and wine, so make sure you're aware of just how alcoholic a drink is when making a selection. 

While the legal drinking limit is .08 blood alcohol concentration (BAC), most people feel the effects well before this point. For example, 3 standard size drinks will bring a person's BAC to .05%. At this point, there will be trouble focusing on the road, problems steering, judgment impairment, and decreased response time. One more drink and a person's BAC is likely to reach .08%, which is the point when it becomes illegal to drive. 

7 drinks bring the BAC up even further, usually to .15%. At this point vomiting is likely, and the driver is bound to experience a loss of muscle control. All of the faculties necessary to operate a vehicle will be diminished, from processing information to paying attention to the task at hand. Driving is extremely risky at this point and it's likely that the person operating the vehicle will be involved in a crash. 

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