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Sip Responsibly

Blood Alcohol Concentration

Blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is the amount of alcohol that is present in the bloodstream. Biological sex is one of the many factors that impacts BAC levels. Alcohol affects males and females differently. Remember, Virginia sets the legal limit for driving while intoxicated at a BAC of .08% for those 21 years of age and older. Factors that may affect blood alcohol level include strength and type of drink, rate of consumption, body size, food and other drug use.
Blood Alcohol Concentration Females
Blood Alcohol Concentration

Want to Check Your Drinking?

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides a handy online tool to measure alcohol consumption and give advice about drinking less. Use the CDC tool to help track your drinking.

What Is a Standard Drink Size? 

 
Spirited Virginia Q2 2022 

Standard size drinks contain approximately the same amount of alcohol and help estimate BAC. They are defined as 12 ounces of beer at 5% ABV, 5 ounces of wine at 12% ABV and 1.5 ounces of liquor at 80 proof or 40% ABV. Remember, some wines and beers contain a higher percentage of alcohol than others and not all mixed beverages are made with the same amount of liquor.

What Is Alcohol Blood Volume?

 
Spirited Virginia Q2 2022

Alcohol by Volume (ABV) is the volume of pure alcohol in a given alcoholic beverage. The ABV percentage of bottled or canned beer, wine and other types of alcoholic beverages can be located on the bottle or can. ABV’s of beer and wine at restaurants and other establishments can often be located on the menu.

How Do You Calculate a Standard Drink? 

 
Spirited Virginia Q2 2022

To calculate the number of standard drinks being consumed, multiply the number of ounces in the drink by the ABV percentage decimal. Then, multiply that number by two to find the approximate number of standard drink sizes the beverage contains. Example: You order a 16-ounce beer that has a 9% ABV. How many standard drinks are you consuming?

What Is Binge Drinking? 

 
Spirited Virginia Q2 2022

Binge drinking is the excessive consumption of alcohol that brings BAC levels to at least .08% in about two hours. This typically happens when men consume 5+ drinks or women consume 4+ drinks in one sitting.

What Is Alcohol Poisoning? 

 
Spirited Virginia Q2 2022

Alcohol poisoning happens when a toxic amount of alcohol is consumed, resulting in a high BAC. A large volume of alcohol in the bloodstream causes the body and its major functioning organs like the brain to consequently shut down. An average of six people die of alcohol poisoning each day in the U.S.


Many Mocktails!

Looking for a delicious drink to stay sober and social at your gathering? Check out our mocktail recipes, which lack liquor but not flavor!

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Sip Responsibly