Cover Image for Oklahoma BAC Level Charts Explained

Oklahoma BAC Level Charts Explained

Kaylind Landes
6 minute read

Do you know when you’re drunk? Alcohol impairs our judgment and makes us more confident, so chances are, you’re not as aware as you may think. Impairment begins after just one drink, and for some people, they’re already too drunk to drive. A BAC chart can help you recognize when you’re drunk, but remember: The only way to truly avoid a driving under the influence (DUI) charge is to avoid driving if you’ve been drinking at all.

What Is Blood Alcohol Content (BAC)?

Blood alcohol content (BAC) is a measure of the concentration of alcohol in a person's bloodstream. It’s typically expressed as a percentage that represents the proportion of alcohol in the blood. Law enforcement uses BAC to determine if a person is impaired or intoxicated and can be charged with DUI. They’ll usually use a breathalyzer, but if one isn’t available, they might use a blood test. Both methods can measure BAC, but a blood test takes much longer, while a breathalyzer provides immediate results.

What Is a BAC Chart?

A BAC chart is a tool you can use to estimate BAC levels based on your body weight and gender. If you plan to drink , it can help you understand the effect of alcohol and when you can and cannot drive – although the only safe time to drive is after zero drinks. All BAC level charts are the same, because they’re based on physical factors. However, states have different legal BAC limits for driving. So, while a .06 BAC on the chart won’t get you in trouble in some states, it can in others, including Oklahoma.


What’s the BAC Limit in Oklahoma?

There are different types of DUIs, but the BAC limit in Oklahoma starts at .06, which is the cutoff for driving while intoxicated (DWI). BAC between .06 and .08 will get you a DWI, while anything over .08 can get you charged with a DUI. Aside from your BAC, the main difference between a DWI and a DUI is that a DWI is always a misdemeanor, while a DUI is only a misdemeanor on your first conviction. If you’re convicted of a second DUI or more within ten years, they are felonies and the punishment increases.

How Many Drinks Is .08?

The number of drinks required to reach .08 on a BAC chart can vary depending on factors like body weight, metabolism, tolerance to alcohol, and even what you’ve eaten that day. As a general guideline, consuming four alcoholic drinks within two hours can result in a BAC of around 0.08 for an average-sized adult. A 160-pound man will reach .08 after three to four drinks, while a 140-pound woman will reach the limit after two to three drinks.

What Affects Your BAC Level?

BAC level charts are just a general guideline. Let’s dive into some of the most common factors that determine your actual BAC.

Your Gender

Whether you’re male or female plays a role in how your body processes and distributes alcohol, which affects your BAC. Women have a higher proportion of body fat and lower water content compared to men. Why does this matter? First, alcohol can be stored in body fat, so the more you have, the more alcohol you can retain. Alcohol is also water-soluble, so because women have less water in their bodies, it becomes more concentrated in their bloodstream, leading to higher BAC levels.

Your Body Weight

Like body fat, your body weight also influences BAC levels. Individuals with higher body weight tend to have lower BAC levels after consuming the same amount of alcohol as those with lower body weight. This is because alcohol is distributed more widely throughout the body in individuals with higher body weight, resulting in a lower concentration of alcohol in the bloodstream.

What You Drink

What you drink can impact BAC levels due to variations in alcohol content. Drinks with higher alcohol concentrations, like hard alcohol, tend to result in higher BAC levels compared to beer or wine. For example, a standard serving of beer (12 ounces) typically contains less alcohol than a shot of distilled spirits (1.5 ounces). BAC charts use standardized drink levels to determine BAC level, where one drink is equal to:

  • 12 ounces of beer
  • 5 ounces of wine
  • 1.5 ounces of 80-proof liquor

How Quickly You Drink

Most of us are familiar with this idea: The faster you drink and the less you eat, the drunker you get. But why? When alcohol is consumed quickly, the body has less time to metabolize it, leading to a rapid increase in BAC. And if you have an empty stomach, the alcohol will be absorbed even faster. Spacing out drinks and consuming food between can help keep BAC levels under control.

The Bottom Line

The only safe BAC level is zero. If you’ve had any amount to drink, it’s always safer not to drive than to consult a BAC chart and hope for the best. And if you’ve already been arrested for DWI or DUI, all you need to do is consult an experienced attorney right away. The Tulsa DUI Guy can help you figure out what’s next and provide the support you need to fight the charges – no matter what your BAC chart or breathalyzer results say. Contact us today for a free case evaluation.