With changes to the Saskatchewan’s impaired driving laws on the horizon, 980 CJME is asking how many drinks does it take to exceed a blood alcohol content of .04?
Under the new rules, a vehicle will be seized for three days for first-time offenders if the driver is caught with a BAC between .04 and .08. If approved, that will take effect at the beginning of 2017.
Sergeant Patrick Barbar, a member of the Saskatoon Police Service’s Combined Traffic Unit, explained there is no definitive answer to how many drinks an individual can have before exceeding the limit.
“For smaller people it can be as little as one drink, for the average person it might be two.”
A number of factors go into how much alcohol an individual can consume before reaching that limit including size, age and body composition. The type of alcohol involved, whether there is any food in the person’s stomach at the time and how quickly the alcohol is being consumed all plays a part as well.
“I’m going to say, and I understand the holidays are coming, if you’re having a leisurely dinner or supper and you have one glass of wine, I think the average person is fine with that,” said Barbar.
Barbar does recommend, if someone is taking part in more than a dinner, perhaps heading out to a local establishment, it is best to be the designated driver or have no alcoholic beverages rather than risk being over the limit.
Another frequently asked question is how long does someone have to wait to drive after they have been drinking. Barbar pointed out it takes about six to eight hours for alcohol to leave the body’s system when someone has a BAC of just over .08.
On Monday, the Saskatchewan government introduced changes to the province’s impaired driving laws in response to recently fatalities involving drunk drivers.
Saskatchewan has the highest rates of impaired driving in the country.