Designated Driving Effectiveness

Do you really need a designated driver if you’ve only had a drink or two? Before you take the risk of getting behind the wheel after “just” a couple of drinks, consider how your body processes alcohol. You may be surprised by how little it takes to affect your body and your blood alcohol content.

Alcohol in Your Body

In order to feel the intoxicating effects of alcohol, which is classified as a depressant, it must first be absorbed into your bloodstream. After you have a drink, the alcohol you ingest is on its way to being absorbed in your bloodstream, mainly through your gastrointestinal tract. Once it is absorbed, your blood alcohol content, or BAC, will rise until the alcohol is metabolized by your liver and expelled. During an evening of continued drinking, the amount of alcohol that enters your body will more than the liver can process, which will cause your BAC to continue to rise. It is only after you stop drinking completely that your BAC level will peak and then begin to fall.

How Much is Too Much?

It is important to note that no two people process and respond to the effects of alcohol in the same way. Factors like body composition, gender, genetics, liver volume and even food consumption all impact the way a person’s body will react to the alcohol and the time it takes for the alcohol to be absorbed and eventually expelled. The effects of two beers on one person could be the same as four on another person. One person may feel none of the effects of alcohol even if their BAC is above the legal limit of 0.08%; another may be completely inebriated with a much lower BAC level.

Because there are no set standards for how many drinks it will take for your blood alcohol level to climb to the legal limit, the best way you can protect yourself from a potential DUI or traffic accident is to have a designated driver.