Blood alcohol calculator: Know your limitBaltimore Post-Examiner

Blood alcohol calculator: Know your limit

Just over a year ago we ran a blog post about using yeast to lessen the effects of alcohol (HERE). As it turns out the Road Safety Group, some folks who handle FR19 Insurance, have an online Blood Alcohol Calculator; you can track your number of drinks and the effect it has on your BAC — Blood Alcohol Content.

If you’ve ever been pulled over by the police and given a Breathalyzer, you are aware of BAC. The legal limit in Maryland (and most states) is .08.

Doesn’t seem like much for professional drunks (alcoholics) who think .08 is for lightweights. “We don’t get drunk until we’re twice that!” Which should be all the proof anyone needs to be convinced that even comparatively small amounts of alcohol can impair one’s judgment.

Three martinis in four hours shouldn’t put you over the legal limit to drive, but why take the chance? Call a cab. (Wikipedia)

Three martinis in four hours shouldn’t put you over the legal limit to drive, but why take the chance? Call a cab. (Wikipedia)

The calculator has several variations for different beers and wines, so if say you drink only German beers with the occasional British or Irish ale, you can figure your BAC based on that. You can even calculate for the various light beers.

This is where it gets tricky. For mixed drinks this calculator is based on having “normal” drinks; i.e. the have a one-ounce shot of alcohol in them, which is pretty standard for most bars, nightclubs, restaurants, etc. Sure, at the corner tavern you might have a favorite bartender that tips the whisky bottle a little more now and then, but in most cases you’re getting one ounce of the alcoholic beverage.

Unless of course you’re having a drink that uses more than one alcoholic beverage. Then you might be getting two. For instance: how much alcohol is in a typical martini? It has three ounces of gin (or vodka) and a half-ounce of vermouth. The calculator accounts for that variation.

So, if you weigh 160 pounds and drink five martinis in four hours your BAC would be .14 — well over the legal limit.

I shared this with my friend — we’ll call her Liz — who is also a former professional drunk, and she asked, “So, it doesn’t calculate the way I made drinks for myself?”

“No Liz, we would probably have to double or triple the numbers on this calculator for that.”

Which really wasn’t abnormal for people like Liz and myself … it’s just not in the normal standards of reasonableness and moderation.

The truth being: if you’re an active professional drunk than you don’t need a BAC calculator anyway, because you’re already drunk and you know it — even if you’re not admitting it.

This calculator is designed for people that don’t go out intending to get drunk, but wonder about when they should stop so they can avoid the unpleasantness of being legally drunk. Is it one drink or two, or three? In how much time?

It should be pointed out, this calculator isn’t intended to be legal tender; it gives an approximation of BAC. For instance, you can’t use your exact weight; it has 20-pound increments. In other words: you can’t use it in a court of law.

What it can do is remind you to have good judgment and be responsible when you do go out for some fun that includes drinking alcohol.

It’s the weekend, have some fun!


About the author

Tim Forkes

Tim Forkes started as a writer on a small alternative college newspaper in Milwaukee called the Crazy Shepherd. Writing about entertainment issues, he had the opportunity to speak with many people in show business, from the very famous to the people struggling to find an audience. In 1992 Tim moved to San Diego, CA and pursued other interests, but remained a freelance writer. Upon arrival in Southern California he was struck by how the business of government and business was so intertwined, far more so than he had witnessed in Wisconsin. His interest in entertainment began to wane and the business of politics took its place. He had always been interested in politics, his mother had been a Democratic Party official in Milwaukee, WI, so he sat down to dinner with many of Wisconsin’s greatest political names of the 20th Century: William Proxmire and Clem Zablocki chief among them. As a Marine Corps veteran, Tim has a great interest in veteran affairs, primarily as they relate to the men and women serving and their families. As far as Tim is concerned, the military-industrial complex has enough support. How the men and women who serve are treated is reprehensible, while in the military and especially once they become veterans. Tim would like to help change that reality. Contact the author.

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