• Image Credit: Joe Raedle via Getty Images

How much is too much?

  • Image Credit: Associated Press

Defining one drink

  • Image Credit: Center for Disease Control

About 2 Beers = .02% Blood Alcohol Level

After about two drinks, the average adult male weighing 160 pounds would likely have a blood alcohol level of around .02 percent. That, says the CDC, would lead to:

  • Some loss of judgment
  • Relaxation
  • Slight body warmth
  • Altered mood



Predictable effects on driving:

  • Decline in visual functions (rapid tracking of a moving target)
  • Decline in ability to perform two tasks at the same time (divided attention)
  • Image Credit: Center for Disease Control

About 3 Beers = .05% Blood Alcohol Level

After about three drinks, the average adult male weighing 160 pounds would likely have a blood alcohol level of around .05 percent. That, says the CDC, would lead to:

  • Exaggerated behavior
  • May have loss of small-muscle control (e.g., focusing your eyes)
  • Impaired judgment
  • Usually good feeling
  • Lowered alertness
  • Release of inhibition



Predictable effects on driving:

Decline in visual functions (rapid tracking of a moving target)
Decline in ability to perform two tasks at the same time (divided attention)

  • Image Credit: Center for Disease Control

About 4 Beers = .08% Blood Alcohol Level

After about four drinks, the average adult male weighing 160 pounds would likely have a blood alcohol level of around .08 percent. That, says the CDC, would lead to:

  • Muscle coordination becomes poor (e.g., balance, speech, vision, reaction time, and hearing)
  • Harder to detect danger
  • Judgment, self-control, reasoning, and memory are impaired



Predictable effects on driving:

  • Concentration
  • Short-term memory loss
  • Speed control
  • Reduced information processing capability (e.g., signal detection, visual search)
  • Impaired perception
  • Image Credit: Center for Disease Control

About 5 Beers = .10% Blood Alcohol Level

After about five drinks, the average adult male weighing 160 pounds would likely have a blood alcohol level of around .10 percent. That, says the CDC, would lead to:

  • Clear deterioration of reaction time and control
  • Slurred speech, poor coordination, and slowed thinking


Predictable effects on driving:

  • Reduced ability to maintain lane position and brake appropriately
  • Image Credit: Center for Disease Control

About 7 Beers = .15% Blood Alcohol Level

After about seven drinks, the average adult male weighing 160 pounds would likely have a blood alcohol level of around .15 percent. That, says the CDC, would lead to:

  • Far less muscle control than normal
  • Vomiting may occur (unless this level is reached slowly or a person has developed a tolerance
  • for alcohol)
  • Major loss of balance


Predictable effects on driving:

  • Substantial impairment in vehicle control, attention to driving task, and in necessary visual and auditory information processing
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