How Many 3-Ounce Beer Samples Before I Am .08?

The Marc Lopez Law Firm is attending Indianapolis’s 9th Annual Brewers of Indiana Guild Winterfest. At Winterfest, beer lovers can try 3-ounce samples of over 100 Indiana beers. At some point, Attorney Marc Lopez was asked by a friend, “How many 3-ounce beer samples before I am over .08?” The answer is: It depends.

Many things influence your level of intoxication. Some of these factors are obvious. For example, drinking a lot of alcohol very quickly accelerates intoxication, while eating before drinking will slow down the rate of absorption.

But some of the things that affect how quickly you become intoxicated are not so obvious—things like your age, weight, body type, prescribed medication, and whether or not you are tired or stressed out when you are drinking. Even your gender affects your level of intoxication. Men and women may be equal under the law, but beer still treats us differently.

It’s therefore impossible to know with certainty how many drinks it will take before you reach the legal limit of .08 blood alcohol content (which is a measurement of grams of ethanol per 100 milliliters of blood OR per 210 liters of breath). We can, however, use some general information to make a pretty good guess.

Ordinarily, a 200-pound male can drink four 12-ounce beers (or 16 3-ounce beer samples)  before his BAC is .08. This assumes a standard alcohol content of about 5% in beer. We also know that the human body eliminates alcohol at a rate of about .015 grams per hour. So if a 200-pound man drinks four 12-ounce beers and his BAC is .08, after an hour of not drinking, his BAC will likely be .065.

These, of course, are estimates.

If you or a loved one are dealing with criminal charges, including being charged with operating with a BAC of .08 or more, call Attorney Marc Lopez at 317-632-3642.