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 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 the legal limit to drink and drive in BC according to Drink & Drive Limits.
It’s in the Blood
The legal 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.
Drink and Drive Punishment in Canada
If you drink and drive in BC, you not only risk losing your driver’s license completely, but up to 10 years in prison. Which isn’t hard to believe since an average of 65 people are killed in BC every year from exceeding the drink and drive limit in BC. To stay safe and be prepared, you may be wondering how much beer you can drink and drive without being a danger to yourself and other drivers. If you’re a fully licensed driver, your blood alcohol content (BAC) must be under 0.05. This concentration is different for every person, therefore, there’s no magic number of drinks that applies to everyone. To be safe and avoid the drink and drive BC penalties, avoid getting behind the wheel if you plan on consuming alcohol.
As you can see, this is not an exact science as it depends on many contributing factors, including what you choose to drink. You may ask: “How Many Beers Can You Drink and Drive in BC?” without exceeding the legal amount. Well, gone are the days when a beer was just a refreshing post-work drink. 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, resulting in an extra half an ounce of alcohol per drink – which can definitely push you over the legal limit.
When Can You Drink and Drive in BC?
Staying under the drink and drive limit in BC is dependent on your individual body composition. However, if you’re asking yourself, “When can you have a drink and drive without consequences?” here’s a rough breakdown. Most people will process one standard drink in 1 to 2 hours. Therefore, if you’ve consumed 3 standard drinks, you will need between 3 and 6 hours to stay under the drink and drive limit in BC. But keep in mind that even after you stop drinking, the alcohol in your system may continue to rise for up to 3 more hours. And sadly, nothing can speed up the rate at which your body processes alcohol through your system. So, before you decide to drink and drive in BC, remember that you have alternative options to keep you safe, such as hiring a designated driver service in Vancouver.
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, contact our Vancouver designated drive company.