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Does alcohol type change blood alcohol concentration?


If you're trying to decide if you can drive or not after a night out with friends, you may be wondering if the type of alcohol you drink has any impact. Are you more likely to be under the legal limit for blood alcohol concentration (BAC) if you've had two beers, as opposed to two shots? Are you better off to drink wine or mixed drinks?

Overall, the key thing to note is that the type of alcohol doesn't impact your BAC at all. If you have the same amount of alcohol, whether it's beer, wine or liquor, you're going to be just as drunk. You BAC will be just as high. It's merely a measurement of the amount of alcohol in your system, and it does not matter how it got there.

That being said, remember that the amount of alcohol you drink is what you have to look at, not the amount of liquid you consume.

For example, a standard beer is around 3.5 percent alcohol. A standard shot is around 40 percent alcohol. If you drank a 12-ounce beer, you'd likely still be under the legal limit, but you'd be way, way over if you drank 12 ounces of whiskey. Generally, a shot—which is just half an ounce—is considered to contain about as much alcohol as an entire beer. Therefore, you must know the alcohol content of what you drink, and you should never base things off of strictly how much liquid you ingest in a set amount of time.

If you've been arrested for drunk driving in Connecticut, you have the right to a fair trial.

Source: NHTSA, "A Guide to Understanding Blood Alcohol Concentration and Alcohol Impairment," accessed May 05, 2016