How the Proposed .05 DUI Standard Would Affect Social Drinkers

Joliet DUI lawyers

As Illinois and other states across the country discuss the possibility of reducing the standard for DUI from .08 to .05 blood alcohol concentration (BAC), you might be wondering how such a change would affect the average citizen, the social drinker.

Consumption Leading to .05 versus .08 BAC

A good rule of thumb is that consuming two standard drinks in one hour will raise a person’s BAC to .05, and drinking one standard drink each hour after that would maintain that level.

However, weight and gender also impact the speed at which the body processes alcohol. A 120-pound woman would be allowed only a single drink in the first hour, two drinks would put her over the .05 limit, and three drinks would put her over .08. A 200-pound man would exceed the .05 limit after three drinks in one hour and hit .08 after four drinks.

Watch Beverage Alcohol Content and Glass Sizes

The definition of one standard drink is 1.5 ounces (one shot) of 80 proof liquor, 12 ounces of beer (4.5% alcohol), or 5 ounces of wine (12% alcohol).

But heed this word of warning: today’s popular small-batch and super-premium liquors can be 90 proof or higher, while craft beers are averaging 5.9% alcohol. If those are your drinks of choice, you would have to drink even less than the above guidelines suggest to stay under the legal limits. Some styles of beer, such as an imperial stout or double IPA, average 10% alcohol, making a 6 oz. glass the equivalent of a standard serving of alcohol.

In addition, many venues sell beer in sizes larger than 12 ounces. For example, Wrigley Field and Guaranteed Rate Park both sell beer in 16 oz. cups, which is the same size as a traditional American pint of beer.

While the Illinois legislature is not yet considering this change , a “.05 Equal DUI” bill is likely to be introduced in Illinois within the next few years.

Trust an Experienced Joliet DUI Defense Attorney

We hope you will always drive safely, whether you drink or not. But we also realize that most people do not sit around a bar calculating each other’s BAC. If you or someone you know has been arrested for DUI, do not assume you have to plead guilty. There are many ways to fight a DUI charge.

To determine your best defense strategy, consult a knowledgeable Will County DUI Defense lawyer as soon as possible. Call the Law Offices of Jack L. Zaremba at 815-740-4025 for a free and confidential consultation; phone calls are answered 24 hours a day.