In the state of Michigan, it is illegal for a driver who is 21 years of age or older to operate a motor vehicle with a BAC level of .08 or higher. A BAC, or blood alcohol concentration level, is the percent of your blood that is concentrated with alcohol. Hence, the more alcohol you consume, the more that will be detected in your blood which will result in a higher BAC level reading. But how much alcohol does it take for a person’s BAC level to reach .08%?

The fact is, many people take pleasure in going out for a few drinks and without even realizing it, they exceed this limit which puts them at risk of being charged with DUI and even causing an accident, neither of which you want to happen to you. So, in an effort to help you become more educated on how much alcohol gets you to that .08% mark, below we are highlighting the effects of alcohol and how many drinks it takes to increase your BAC level beyond the legal limit.

Now, before sharing this information with you provided on behalf of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), you will need to keep in mind that this information is based on what a 160-pound male would need to drink in one hour to reach the BAC listed. The CDC states that a standard drink size in the U.S. is as follows for each type of alcoholic beverage:

  • 12-ounces of beer with a 5% alcohol content level.
  • 8-ounces of malt liquor with a 7% alcohol content level.
  • 5-ounces of wine with a 12% alcohol concentration level.
  • 1.5-ounces or a “shot” of 80 proof distilled spirits or liquor with a 40% alcohol concentration level.

Understanding BAC Levels

  • After drinking about two alcoholic drinks, your BAC level would rise to about .02%. Although this is below the legal limit, it doesn’t mean the alcohol won’t impact your ability to drive. It can. In fact, two drinks could potentially have the following effects on you:
  • You might experience a decline in visual functions.
  • You might notice a decline in your ability to perform two tasks at the same time.
  • After having three alcohol drinks, your BAC level would climb to .05%, again still below that .08% limit. However, you might experience the following effects while driving after consuming this amount of alcohol:
  • Reduced coordination
  • Reduced ability to track moving objects
  • Experience difficulty with steering.
  • You may have a reduced response to emergency driving situations.
  • After drinking about four alcoholic beverages, your BAC level will likely reach .08% which now makes it illegal for you to get behind the wheel of a motor vehicle. Now, if you are a female with a weight that is below 160, you probably already reached the .08% limit prior to having four drinks. Some of the effects your will experience with a BAC level of .08% include:
  • You will have difficulty concentrating.
  • You will experience short-term memory loss.
  • You may struggle to determine what speed you should be traveling at.
  • You may be unable to process information such as when a light turns red and when you must stop.
  • Your perception is impaired.
  • After having about five alcoholic drinks, your BAC level has now spiked to .10%. Aside from experiencing the effects mentioned above, you will experience a reduction in your ability to maintain lane position and may brake appropriately.
  • If you continue drinking and consume at seven alcoholic drinks, your BAC may rise to about .15%. You will be significantly impaired and likely unable to control your vehicle putting you and the others around you at risk.

While it isn’t a crime to go out with some friends or even your spouse for a few drinks, it is when you have consumed too much which puts your BAC level over the legal limit and decide to drive. Therefore, rather be safe than sorry, it is best you plan ahead and have an alternate way of getting home so you don’t have to worry about getting behind the wheel intoxicated.

However, if you or someone you know has recently been arrested for DUI in Lansing or East Lansing, MI and need to retain a DUI defense attorney to represent your case, Stuart R. Shafer is the lawyer you want working beside, protecting your rights and freedom. A DUI is not only a serious charge but can be a rather scary one to have on your record, especially if this is your first offense. So, if you would like to be sure you are properly represented and increase your chances of getting your charges reduced, visit or contact the Law Offices Stuart R. Shafer, P.C. at:

1223 Turner Street, #333
Lansing, MI 48906