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Driving under the influence of alcohol is still a serious problem in Missouri. While Mothers Against Drunk Driving reported that the number of people arrested for DUI has decreased in the state, many still end up getting arrested or worse.

This problem could be reduced if more people understood just how little it takes to send someone over the 0.08 limit. Numerous factors affect a person's blood alcohol content, so nothing can be stated with certainty. However, there are guidelines so the public can have a better idea of how much is too much.

Factors that affect BAC

The phrase "one drink" has several connotations. One drink could equal 12 ounces of beer or only 1.5 ounces of hard liquor. It could also be five ounces of wine. Therefore, the type of alcohol a person consumes affects BAC.

Men and women process alcohol differently, so gender plays a role. A person's weight also affects BAC. Additional factors include whether the person is drinking on an empty stomach, taking medications or getting a good night's sleep the night before.

Understanding of impaired driving

Even if someone would not be over 0.08, he or she would still want to be careful of impaired driving. As an example, say there is a 160-pound man who had one drink. His BAC would most likely end up around 0.02, so he could theoretically drive. However, if that same man had three drinks within one hour, his BAC could shoot up to 0.07. Although 0.07 is lower than 0.08, it could still result in impaired driving, meaning the driver would pose a risk to himself and others.

Knowing limits

It is vital for everyone to know when they have had too much to drink. It is better to find another way of getting home rather than risk getting a DUI.

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