How do math and alcohol make a good combo?

  • Published
  • By Ramstein
  • ADAPT Clinic
How do math and alcohol make a good combo? Yes, you read that correctly. Math and alcohol can make a good combination and reduce the chances of making bad decisions. In order to do the math, you should be drinking at a minimal and responsible level.

You should also  keep track of how many standard drinks you have consumed. To calculate this, multiply the volume in ounces by the alcohol content in a percentage and divide by 0.6 ounces of alcohol per drink. For example: 7 fluid ounces of wine at 13% alcohol: (7 fl oz x 0.13)/.6 fluid ounces = 1.5 standard drinks.

Knowing how to calculate how many standard drinks you consume is important for the next equation that can determine if you have alcohol in your blood. The more you drink and the faster you drink, the higher your blood alcohol content will be.

Keep in mind that some specialty drinks like Long Island Iced Tea or a Martini can contain more than 5 standard shots of alcohol. Each standard drink that the average size male (180 pounds) drinks will increase his BAC by about .02 per drink and for the average size female (120 pounds) a standard drink will increase her BAC to about .03 per drink.

You can calculate your BAC by using this equation:  
# of drinks    x    average BAC = overall BAC

Using this equation you can see that for a male, more than two drinks would bring his BAC above the legal limit to drive in Germany (.05) and for the average female, two drinks (2 x .03) leads to a BAC of .06. The only safe drinking limit for driving is to keep your BAC at .00 which is why having a designated driver or a plan for safe transit home is so important.

Women generally have less water in their body to dilute alcohol and less of the specific enzyme that the body uses to metabolize alcohol. However, men and women metabolize alcohol at the same rate regardless of gender, height or weight. It takes about 1.5 to 2 hours to metabolize each standard drink that you consume.

It takes 20-30 minutes for all the alcohol in a drink to enter your bloodstream, so the one and half to two hour timeframe doesn't start until that point. This is why games like "power hour" or taking multiple shots within 30 minutes can be dangerous.

Let's look at an example to help combine all of these math equations and drive the point home...It is 2 a.m. and your last drink was at 1:30 a.m. so it's safe to assume that all of the alcohol you've consumed is now in your bloodstream. You are pulled over on your way home from a night out in Kaiserslautern and blow a BAC of .09 into the breathalyzer. That is over the legal limit and will lead to consequences including losing your license and disciplinary actions.

Q: How many standard alcoholic beverages did you actually consume?
A: If you are male that would be roughly equivalent to four and a half drinks and if you are female it is about three drinks.

Q: How many hours until you are alcohol free?
A: For the male it would be about nine hours and for the female it would be about six hours. 

Q: At what time would a male or female be alcohol free in this scenario?
A: 11 a.m. for the male and 8 a.m. for the female. This is good to remember because people will often drive home early in the morning from sleeping over at a friend's house and receive a DUI because they are still under the influence of alcohol.

If you are having any difficulties drinking alcohol in a healthy, responsible way, give us a call at DSN 479-2390 or 06371462390 so we can help!