Most people agree that drinking and driving are terrible. Full stop. And the province has continued to crack down on offenders, lowering the limit of allowable blood-alcohol concentration in the and increasing penalties for those who are caught driving over the limit.
It is a bit abstract, though and there are still questions about limits out there. So let’s take a look at how much you can drink and be legally ok to drive in BC.
It’s in the blood
The limit for drinking and driving is not a set number of drinks, it is the concentration of alcohol in the bloodstream. The allowable blood-alcohol concentration in British Columbia is 49 mg of alcohol in 100 ml of blood or less.
In 2018, the province issued new rules around drinking and driving, making them more strict with the hopes of preventing people from driving under the influence. And while there are people firmly in the abstinence crowd, the law says that you are allowed to drink a little bit before you get behind the wheel.
But unless you have your own breathalyzer, it can be tough to gauge whether or not you are past the legal limit. One way that people guesstimate whether or not they are legally fine to drive is by looking at their weight and size.
MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) has come up with some figures to help people determine whether they are under the limit. According to their data, a woman weighing 130-145 pounds will be close to the legal limit after drinking two drinks in two hours. Three drinks in two hours would put her over.
They go on to say that a man who weighs between 165 – 195 pounds would be over the limit of .05 if they had four drinks in two hours.
As you can see, this is certainly not an exact science because it depends on so many other factors, including what you drink. Gone are the days when a beer is just a beer, since these days some craft beers have an alcohol content of 7-8%. In other words, drinking a strong IPA is the equivalent to having two light beers.
The same can be said for hard alcohol. Many bartenders free pour and a half an ounce extra in each drink (that you didn’t know about) can definitely push you over the legal limit.
Other options available
If you do decide to drink and have your vehicle with you and no one to drive it, the safest thing is to call a designated driver service. Our services will come to you and drive your car safely to wherever it needs to go. Leaving your car overnight is not always an option, and cab rides (if you can get them) to and from your vehicle might not be the right option for you either.
Designated driver service in a city without any taxi alternatives is a great way to stay safe on the roads. We love helping people get where they need to go safely and on time.
If you are concerned that you are over the blood alcohol limit or need to get from point A to point B, give us a call.