# Blood Alcohol Calculator: How to Calculate Your Blood Alcohol Content

Published: 4/30/2021 Last updated: 2/26/2023

Drinking alcohol can be a fun social activity, but it’s important to know your limits and stay safe. One way to do this is by using a blood alcohol calculator to determine your blood alcohol content (BAC). In this article, we’ll explain what BAC is, how to calculate it, and provide examples to help you understand.

## Definition: What is Blood Alcohol Content (BAC)?

Blood alcohol content (BAC) is a measurement of the amount of alcohol present in a person’s bloodstream. BAC is typically expressed as a percentage, and it’s used to determine a person’s level of intoxication. The higher the BAC, the more impaired a person is likely to be.

In the United States, a BAC of 0.08% or higher is considered legally intoxicated for drivers over the age of 21. However, it’s important to note that even a BAC lower than 0.08% can still impair a person’s ability to drive or make sound decisions.

## Formula: How to Calculate Blood Alcohol Content

The formula for calculating BAC is based on a few key factors:

• The amount of alcohol consumed
• The person’s body weight
• The person’s gender
• The person’s rate of metabolism
• The amount of time that has passed since drinking

The most common formula for calculating BAC is known as Widmark’s formula:

#### BAC = (A x 5.14 / W x r) - 0.015 x H

Where:

• A is the total number of alcohol consumed, in ounces
• W is the person’s body weight, in pounds
• r is the gender-specific alcohol distribution ratio: 0.73 for men and 0.66 for women
• H is the number of hours since the first drink

For example, let’s say a man who weighs 180 pounds drinks 4 beers (each containing 12 ounces of alcohol) over the course of 4 hours. Using Widmark’s formula, we can calculate his BAC:

BAC = (48 x 5.14 / 180 x 0.73) - 0.015 x 4 = 0.091

So his BAC would be 0.091%, which is above the legal limit for driving in most states.

## Examples: How to Use a Blood Alcohol Calculator

While Widmark’s formula is the most commonly used formula for calculating BAC, there are many blood alcohol calculators available online that can do the math for you. These calculators typically ask for the following information:

• The number and type of drinks consumed (beer, wine, or liquor)
• The person’s body weight
• The person’s gender
• The amount of time that has passed since drinking

Here’s an example of how to use a blood alcohol calculator:

1. Go to a blood alcohol calculator website, such as wirtualny alkomat
2. Select your gender (male or female) and enter your weight in pounds
3. Select the type and number of drinks you’ve consumed
4. Select the amount of time that has passed since your first drink
5. Click “calculate”

The calculator will then provide you with an estimated BAC based on the information you provided. It’s important to note that this is only an estimate, and individual factors such as metabolism and hydration levels can affect BAC.

## Explanation: How Does Alcohol Affect the Body?

Alcohol is a depressant that affects the central nervous system, slowing down brain function and altering behavior. When a person drinks alcohol, it’s absorbed into the bloodstream through the stomach and small intestine. From there, it travels to the liver where it’s metabolized and broken down into water, carbon dioxide, and other compounds.

The liver can process approximately one standard drink per hour. A standard drink is defined as:

• 12 ounces of beer
• 5 ounces of wine
• 1.5 ounces of liquor

When a person drinks more than one standard drink per hour, their BAC begins to rise. As BAC increases, so does the level of impairment. At a BAC of 0.08%, a person may experience:

• Loss of balance
• Slurred speech
• Difficulty concentrating
• Impaired judgment and decision-making
• Reduced reaction time

At higher BAC levels, a person may experience more severe symptoms such as vomiting, loss of consciousness, and respiratory depression.

A: No, it’s never safe to drink and drive. Even if your BAC is below the legal limit, alcohol can still impair your ability to drive and make sound decisions. It’s always best to have a designated driver or use a ride-sharing service if you plan on drinking.

#### Q: Can I lower my BAC by drinking coffee or taking a cold shower?

A: No, coffee and cold showers will not lower your BAC. Only time can lower BAC, as the liver can only metabolize alcohol at a rate of approximately one standard drink per hour.

#### Q: Can I use a breathalyzer to determine my BAC?

A: Yes, breathalyzers can provide an estimate of your BAC by measuring the amount of alcohol in your breath. However, breathalyzers can be inaccurate and should not be relied upon as a definitive measure of BAC.

## Conclusion

Knowing your BAC is an important part of staying safe when drinking alcohol. By using a blood alcohol calculator or Widmark’s formula, you can estimate your BAC based on factors such as the number of drinks consumed, body weight, and time elapsed since drinking. Remember that even a BAC below the legal limit can still impair your ability to drive and make sound decisions. Always prioritize safety and have a plan in place for getting home if you plan on drinking.

By understanding how alcohol affects the body and using tools like blood alcohol calculators, individuals can make informed decisions about their alcohol consumption and stay safe while drinking. Remember to always prioritize safety and never drink and drive.