When can you drive after drinking alcohol? How to calculate your blood alcohol level without a breathalyzer?
May is the month of the first sunny weekends and therefore, we will spend more time with our family and friends at a barbecue or outdoor party. In these situations, one often wonders how long must pass after drinking before it is safe to drive? How long does it take to sober up after a beer, wine, vodka or whisky?
The absorption of alcohol begins as soon as it is consumed, from the mouth. It then passes into the blood, which also circulates in the lungs, where the alcohol mixes with oxygen. This is why the alcohol level is measured with breathalyzers, which give the alcohol level in per thousand in the exhaled air.
Alcohol is absorbed by the body as soon as it is consumed, but it takes much longer for it to completely disappear from our body. Even the day after a drunken night out, we can't be sure we're sober. This is especially a problem for drivers who have to drive the day after a party. We may not feel drunk, but there may be more alcohol in our body than we think, and it's not safe to drive.
Blood alcohol levels can be checked with a breathalyzer as early as 15 to 30 minutes after consuming alcohol. However, the highest blood alcohol concentration occurs about an hour to an hour and a half after consuming alcohol.
How long does it take to absorb alcohol? It is estimated that it takes an average of 3 hours for our body to eliminate 20 to 30 grams of pure alcohol - ethanol. By knowing how many grams of ethanol the alcohol we consume contains, we can easily estimate when it is safe to drive. Here are some examples :
If you are unsure if you can drive safely, you should check your sobriety. A solution to this problem could be to buy a breathalyzer for home use, or download a "virtual breathalyzer" type application on your smartphone. In this type of application, you have to fill in a form with information about your physique, gender, weight and the amount of alcohol you have consumed. Thanks to this, you will be able to know how much alcohol you are likely to have in the exhaled air. Drive safely !