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How Fast Does Your BAC Go Down?


Across the United States of America, the legal alcohol limit is a BAC of 0.08%. In all states, operating a vehicle with a BAC of 0.08% or more is illegal. If found guilty of driving a car with a BAC of 0.08% or more, your license will most likely be suspended or revoked. A DUI conviction can also result in jail time and fines. When they have too much to drink, many people decide to wait a bit before getting behind the wheel. They wait to get their BAC level down to the legal limit. While you can still get a DUI if you are under the 0.08% mark, having a BAC level of 0.08% or more means you are legally impaired and cannot escape DUI charges if pulled over. For example, after spending some hours at the bar, you may decide to wait an hour before driving home. To you, an hour seems like enough time for your BAC to go down the legal limit. The truth is that your BAC does not decrease as quickly as you might think. It is also crucial to note that the rate at which BAC decreases can vary based on several factors.

BAC Does Not Go Down as Fast as People Assume

According to research, alcohol leaves the body at an average rate of 0.015% per hour. For men, this can be equated to one standard drink per hour. However, as mentioned already, the rate at which BAC decreases can vary based on several factors. Some factors that affect the rate at which BAC goes down include gender, weight, age, and overall health.

Suppose your BAC is at 0.10%. In such a case, if you wait half an hour before getting behind the wheel, you would still be over the legal limit of 0.08%. In the first half hour, your BAC would drop to 0.0925%. You would still be over the legal limit even if you waited an hour before getting behind the wheel. If you wait an hour, your BAC would be at 0.085%. If your BAC is at 0.10%, it will take approximately seven hours to reach 0.00% if you don’t take any more alcohol during that time. Consuming more alcohol within that time will slow down the rate at which your BAC will go down.

Can You Speed Up Your Sobriety? 

Sometimes, people try to sober up faster. People may drink water or coffee or take a cold shower to sober up quickly. While people believe that such things speed up sobriety, experts say these tactics don’t speed up sobriety. According to experts, once alcohol gets into the bloodstream, it can only be eliminated by the enzyme alcohol dehydrogenase, urine, sweat, and breath. Drinking water or coffee or taking a cold shower can make you feel more awake, but these tactics cannot lower your BAC level. Generally, nothing causes your BAC level to drop but time. You simply have to wait for your BAC level to drop.

Legal Help Is Available

If you get arrested for DUI, it is crucial that you contact an attorney who can help you understand all the defense options you have. Our qualified NYC DUI/DWUI/DWAI attorney, Mark I. Cohen, is here for you. You can reach us by calling 212-732-0002 or filling out our online contact form.



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