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Alcohol Consumption Limits

If you’re bartending, you not only need to know how to mix drinks, you need to know when to stop mixing drinks for a customer. In some states, the law requires you stop serving alcohol to clearly inebriated people.

The following chart shows the number of drinks a person with a given body weight can consume in a two-hour period before reaching various stages of intoxication. Use it only as a general guide.

Number of Drinks in a Two-Hour Period and Impairment Level
Weight (in lbs.) Blood Alcohol Level Below .05% Judgment Impaired Blood Alcohol Level of .10% (Intoxicated)
100 1–2 3 4
120 1–2 3–4 5
140 1–2 3–4 5
160 1–2 4–5 5–6
180 2–3 4–5 6
200 2–3 5 6
220 2–3 5–6 6–7
240 2–3 5–6 7

One drink equals 1-1/2 oz. of 86-proof liquor, 12 oz. of beer, or 5 oz. of wine.

If your blood alcohol level is below .05 percent, you’re probably drinking safely. If you drink to the point of impaired judgment, you may be legally intoxicated in some areas and shouldn’t drive. If your blood alcohol level is .10 percent, you are considered legally drunk in every state in the United States, and you definitely should not drive.

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