If you are planning and having a few drinks this weekend, you’d better use this drink calculator from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. The calculator will approximate the the amount of alcohol in your mixed drink, allowing you to track how much you’ve had.
Of course, you still need to figure out how much it takes for you to be at the legal limit for driving. Alcohol affects men and women differently, as women’s bodies tend to metabolize it much more slowly than men’s. According to the NIAAA, men can usually have one more drink than a woman of the same weight without becoming intoxicated.
High-risk drinking is defined as more than 14 drinks per week for men and no more than four in one day, and more than seven for women within a week or more than three in a day. Genes, weight and having a built up tolerance can also affect how intoxicated you become.
The calculator is not perfect but if you use it in conjunction with a chart, such as the one from this lawyers’ group, can help you estimate when you’ve had enough. The only foolproof way to avoid driving dangerously is to avoid doing one or the other.
There are services in some areas that help you get home, in your own car, if you’ve had too many as well. And many DUI lawyers will pay for your taxi if you send them the receipt in order to keep you off the road.
Every year thousands of DUIs are issued in the United States, and they can be very expensive. In addition, thousands more are killed in alcohol related accidents, though that number has declined over the past few decades.
But the calculator can still be helpful if you plan on having one or two drinks over a couple of hours, or simply as a tool to keep yourself under control.