How Many Alcoholic Drinks Does It Take to Exceed the Legal Limit in Texas?

According to the Texas Penal Code, the legal limit for blood alcohol content (BAC) is .08 percent. It’s important not to exceed this limit in order to avoid a DWI arrest. The number of drinks it takes to reach the legal limit will depend on a number of factors such as your weight and the amount of time spent between beverages.

A person who weighs around 100 pounds can generally consume only one drink before they are considered to be over the legal limit. On the other hand, someone who weighs around 160 pounds can normally have three drinks before they reach this number. An individual who weighs 200 pounds could still be intoxicated after only three drinks if the beverages are taken within a very short period of time, as doing so tends to intensify the effects of alcohol.

Male Blood Alcohol Level - Alcohol impairment per drink chart for males

Female Blood Alcohol Level - Alcohol impairment per drink chart for females

Other Contributing Factors

Other factors can contribute to a person reaching their legal limit after three drinks or less:

  • Hunger: Drinking on an empty stomach allows alcohol to be absorbed into the bloodstream much faster
  • Fatigue: Individuals who are tired could find themselves becoming intoxicated sooner than they would have if they were well-rested
  • Medicines: Certain prescription medications and even over-the-counter medications can intensify the effects of alcohol, thereby causing a person to reach their legal limit much sooner
  • Time frame between drinks: People who wait more than 40 minutes between drinks can usually consume more beverages without exceeding their legal limit

What Constitutes a Drink?

A serving of alcohol varies depending upon whether it is hard or soft liquor. Most bartenders agree that a serving is equal to an ounce of 100-proof liquor when consuming mixed drinks. It can equal more than one serving if a double shot of liquor is used. One serving of beer is equal to about 12 ounces, while it takes approximately four ounces of wine to make one serving.

Advice for Avoiding Arrest

Those who plan to be drinking should know their individual tolerance beforehand. It can also be a good idea to use the “buddy system” in order to have another individual monitor his or her level of intoxication. Designating a driver is always a good option to consider, as it can help people avoid an accident or DWI.

To ask questions about BAC limits or to discuss your DWI case with a criminal defense attorney, reach out to The Law Office of Matthew D. Sharp at 713-868-6100.

* BAC Chart Images Courtesy of the University of Oklahoma Police Department