You don't want a night of drinking to turn into a DUI arrest, so you're careful not to walk straight from the bar to your car. You know that you need some time so that your BAC can drop back down to a safe level. What you're probably wondering, then, is how long this is going to take. How fast is that alcohol going to metabolize, and how long do you need to wait before it's out of your system?

A 0.015 Drop

How long you need to wait depends on where your BAC started. What you can know with some certainty is that your BAC will fall by about 0.015 every single hour. Though things like size and gender may play a role regarding how many drinks get you to 0.08, the regression back to 0.00 seems to be the same for everyone.

So, let's say that your BAC is at 0.08. If you wait for one hour, it's going to fall to 0.065. An hour after that, it's going to hit 0.050. This continues each hour, meaning you won't be back down to 0.00 for about five hours and 20 minutes.

Naturally, though, this doesn't necessarily mean you can't drive. If the legal limit is 0.08, you may only have to wait one hour to get down below this. However, if you want to reduce the odds of an arrest where the officer claims you were still impaired and so you won't drive until there's no alcohol in your system at all, you have about five hours to wait. Naturally, the wait time is even longer if you're up over the limit, at 0.1 or 0.12 -- or higher.

How Fast Does It Rise?

As noted, getting your BAC to rise doesn't take nearly as long. If you're a man who weighs 140 pounds, you could get there by drinking three drinks in 60 minutes. Many people drink far more than this, so you could technically get a positive reading on a breath test for 10 hours or more. No matter where you start, that rate of decline is the same.

DUI Accusations

Have you been accused of a DUI after you felt that you waited long enough and were no longer impaired? If so, you must know what legal defense options you have.