One of the more frequently asked questions customers ask is “How many drinks does it take to be legally drunk?” The question can be answered with the B.A.C. Wheel, an easy-to-use, low-tech calculator that takes the guesswork out of estimating alcohol levels. The B.A.C. Wheel uses number of drinks, body weight, time, and gender to scientifically estimate blood alcohol concentration (BAC).
The B.A.C. Wheel makes a convenient teaching tool in alcohol education programs, as well as a handy resource for professionals who want to quickly check the reasonableness of breathalyzer results and self-reports of drinking. The wheel allows users to instantly compare how alcohol affects men and women differently, and how the same amount of alcohol affects people with different body weights. The B.A.C. Wheel also answers another frequently asked question, “How long after drinking does it take for a person to sober up?” by displaying declining alcohol levels hour by hour for six hours after the last drink.
To read a B.A.C. Wheel, turn the wheel to match the number of drinks consumed with the subject’s body weight. Read the estimated % alcohol level in the upper window, according to the number of hours since the first drink. The lower window displays declining alcohol levels hour by hour.
For example: A man has 6 drinks and weighs 160 lbs. Turn the wheel until the number 6 on the outer edge of the wheel lines up with 160 lbs. on the card. The arrow under the upper window points to .08, the estimated alcohol level 1 hour after drinking. The lower window shows declining alcohol levels hour by hour.
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