Avoid a New Jersey Drunk Driving Arrest: Know Your Limit for Alcohol Consumption

With the Independence Day holiday behind us and summer in full swing, lots of people are enjoying themselves from Newark to the Jersey Shore and all the way down to Cape May. But along with that enjoyment comes responsibility. As a New Jersey DWI defense attorney, I’ve represented many clients who never realized they were legally intoxicated — having a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08 percent or more. Unless you have a properly calibrated breathalyzer handy, it’s tough to know whether you’ve had one too many.

I recently ran across an article that included a chart for gauging how many drinks an individual can consume while still staying legal and avoiding a drunk driving summons. It all has to do with body weight. Comparing a 100-pound aerobics fanatic to that 250-pound linebacker sitting at the next table, the big fellow can drink more than the smaller person and still be under the legal limit for BAC. But if it’s any consolation, portly couch potatoes have to buy more drinks to get the same buzz as those svelte folks out there.

Regardless, you should never drive in an impaired state. Even small amounts of alcohol can dull your senses, decrease reaction time, and hamper judgment, vision and alertness. Very simply, if you consume any amount of alcohol and your driving is affected, you could be convicted of driving while intoxicated. The chart below illustrates the relationship between alcohol, body weight and BAC level — this is not a guide, since drinking and driving are always a dangerous combination, and there are numerous other factors that can affect your BAC as well.

When reviewing this chart, keep in mind that “one drink” is considered as either one beer; one three-ounce glass of wine; or one ounce of hard liquor (yellow-highlighted figures equal impaired; red is legally drunk).

BAC Chart01.JPG

If you or someone you know has been arrested or issued a summons for drunk driving, we highly recommend that you seek the counsel of a qualified legal professional to handle your DWI or refusal case.

Is being buzzed safe to drive?, Examiner.com, July 7, 2009