California’s DUI laws can be complex and confusing. In this section, our attorneys break down the rules and explain the process.
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A 180 lb. person is legally intoxicated after consuming three beers. Three beers would likely result in a person of this size having a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08%, which is the legal limit for DUI purposes in most states.
But keep in mind that every person’s body processes alcohol differently. This means that the precise number of beers that it will take to get you drunk depends on several factors.
Some of these factors include your
In most states, you are considered per se legally intoxicated if your blood alcohol content is 0.08% or higher.1
The following BAC chart breaks down blood alcohol levels for varying body weights per amount of beers consumed:2
|# Of Beers Consumed
Based on these numbers, a person who weighs 140 – 180 lbs. is legally intoxicated after consuming three beers.
A person who weighs 220 lbs., however, is legally intoxicated after consuming four beers.
But keep in mind that the above chart provides only approximate values. The reality is that different people will process alcohol differently and there are several factors that will impact how many beers get you drunk.
All of the following factors can impact the effects of alcohol on your body and your potential level of intoxication:
Given the above factors, BAC levels are really only one factor to consider when it comes to drinking beer and getting drunk.
Every person’s body is different and the precise number of alcoholic beverages that it will take to get you drunk will largely depend on your:
“Alcohol by volume,” or ABV, is a measurement of how much pure alcohol is in a given drink.
ABV values are often given as a percentage, and you can generally find the ABV of a given beer on its bottle’s label.
In general, the higher the ABV, the more alcohol is found in that particular drink.
Alcohol consumption with beers of a higher ABV will result in quicker intoxication rates when compared to consumption of beers with a lower ABV.
The following are some ABV values for different types of beers:4
|Type of Beer
|American Pale Ale
|3.5 to 4.4
|4.1 to 5.3
|7 to 14
|4 to 6
|4.9 to 5.6
Note that craft beers usually have a higher alcohol percentage/beer alcohol content than light beers or regular beers.
All of the following are signs that you are becoming intoxicated or have had too many alcoholic drinks:
Yes. The following are all good tips to help ensure that you will not get intoxicated quickly:
Please keep in mind that a first-time DUI offense is usually a misdemeanor. A conviction can result in such penalties as:
A former Los Angeles prosecutor, attorney Neil Shouse graduated with honors from UC Berkeley and Harvard Law School (and completed additional graduate studies at MIT). He has been featured on CNN, Good Morning America, Dr Phil, The Today Show and Court TV. Mr Shouse has been recognized by the National Trial Lawyers as one of the Top 100 Criminal and Top 100 Civil Attorneys.