Drinking and Driving Facts and Education
What is BAC?
BAC stands for Blood Alcohol Content. This is the amount of alcohol in a person’s body measured by the weight of alcohol in a certain volume of blood. There is no difference in how a drink affects your BAC. A drink is a drink. A shot of distilled spirits, a 5-ounce glass of wine, or a 12-ounce beer will have the same effect on your BAC..
What affects my BAC?
The number of drinks – The more you drink, the higher your BAC
How fast you drink – The faster you consume alcohol the quicker your BAC will rise
Your Gender – Women generally have less water and more body fat per pound of body weight than men. Alcohol does not absorb into fat cells as easily as other cells, so more alcohol remains in the blood of women.
Your Weight – The more you weigh, the more water is present in your body. This water dilutes the alcohol and lowers the BAC
Food in your Stomach – Absorption of alcohol will be slowed if you’ve had something to eat
What about medications or drugs?
Medications or drugs will not change your BAC. However, if you drink alcohol while taking certain medications or drugs, you may feel and/or be more impaired which can affect your ability to perform driving-related tasks.
BAC Levels and their affects
|BAC||Typical Effects||Predictable Effects on Driving|
What can I do to stay safe when I plan on drinking?
Plan a safe way home in advance and never drive after drinking
Designate a sober driver
Use a taxi, call a friend or family member or use public transportation
Download NHTSA’s SaferRide mobile app for FREE on the iTunes or Google Play, to easily call a taxi or a friend for a ride home. The app can also help you identify your location, if needed.
Always wear your seat belt. It’s your best defense against impaired drivers.