DWI Intoxication: Understanding the Legal Limit in Texas
DWI Intoxication in Texas/DWI .08 Alcohol level
There are two ways a person can be found legally “intoxicated” for a DWI charge in Texas. A legal finding of alcohol intoxication requires proof beyond a reasonable doubt that you were operating a motor vehicle on a public street in Texas while: (1) Not having the normal use of mental or physical faculties by reason of the introduction of alcohol; or (2) having an alcohol concentration of .08 or more. The .08 alcohol concentration definition is only for cases where the person arrested has taken a breath or blood test. Otherwise, the prosecution must prove the person did not have the normal use of his/her mental or physical faculties – which is often more difficult.
How much do you have to drink to get to .08? It varies by the individual. The amount of time over which the drinking took place, the strength of each drink, the amount of food in someone’s stomach at the time, the individual’s metabolism, the amount of body fat or muscle in that
person, whether the person is ill or if the stomach is upset for any reason, the person’s gender, body weight, and even race can all effect how many drinks it takes to get to a true .08 alcohol level. That being said, the chart below can help you estimate about where you are:
How do I Interpret the DWI Chart? Note that the chart above applies only to one 2-hour period of time. What if you were out drinking for 4 hours, or 6? Well, as you drink over the course of an evening, alcohol accumulates in your blood stream. Most people metabolize about% drink per hour. This means that if you (assuming you are like most people) consume one drink per hour, at the end of 4 hours you will have about 2 total drinks in your system, which consists of:
• the 4th drink you had that is not yet metabolized, and
• about x of each of the prior drinks will still be in the system.
Now drink two drinks an hour instead of one. After four hours, you will have ingested 8 drinks and metabolized between 2.25 and 3 drinks (remember, those drinks you had the last hour have not fully metabolized). Under this last scenario, you probably have at least five drinks “in your system.” Drive home at this point, and you could very well need a Collin County or Dallas County DWI attorney.