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Toronto lawyers dedicated to helping people charged with impaired driving

How many drinks can I have and still legally drive?

As you likely know, there is no set amount for any one specific person. Your BAC, or measurement of how much alcohol is in your blood is going to be determined by:

  1. Your body size. Generally speaking and on average, the larger you are the more than you can drink. The more blood there is in your body the less concentrated the alcohol is (reducing BAC/impairment). Since men are usually bigger than women, this factor often works in their favour.

  2. The amount of alcohol you consume. This often gets confused because of a lack of understanding among the general population of the definition of the term "drink". Alcohol is the same whether it is found in beer, wine, or vodka. The proper calculation will always be the mathematical amount of liquid you consumed multiplied by the percentage of alcohol contained in the liquid. 

  3. The amount of time your liver has have to break down the alcohol. Remember, not everyone's liver is the same and some people will break down alcohol faster than others. This being said, generally speaking more time your liver/body has had to absorb the alcohol the lower your BAC level will be.

Theoretically any drinking and driving could result in an impairment charge. It is both illegal to have an alcohol level over .08 or to simply be impaired (and less than .08).

This is why the police will always charge the individual for both impaired operation and over 80. One of these charges will eventually be dropped, but in cases where it is questionable whether the BAC level was actually over 80 they individual may still be found guilty if the court finds them to be impaired despite this. Those with low telerance levels (inexperienced drinkers) may be legally intoxicated despite being under .08 BAC.

The "general rule" is one standard drink per hour but it is very risky to try to estimate your own BAC level. Every person's liver processes alcohol a little differently. Drinking even one or two drinks quickly and then immediately driving could be grounds for an impaired. The key element is obviously time. If you decide to have a drink or two you should at least give yourself a few hours before driving at a minimum. Some people also purchase self testing devices. These devices range an accuracy so be aware that they are not necessarily as accurate as the $10,000 Intoxilyzer 8000 machine that the police will be using.

In addition to criminal DUI penalties, most provinces (including Ontario) now also have laws which allow for provincial penalties for having a BAC of .05 or more. This is generally referred to as the "warn range" but will carry a temporary license suspension and can impact your insurance rates.

This being said, we don’t encourage anyone to drink and drive and caution you could receive a DUI after having just one drink in certain circumstances.

Call us today.

You don't have to jeopardize your future or waste thousands of dollars on excessive legal fees. We provide effective and affordable lawyer representation for those charged with impaired driving offences throughout Ontario.

Have a skilled criminal lawyer who focuses on impaired driving related charges protect you and your future from the stigma and consequences of a criminal record.

    call us: 647-228-5969


  call us: 647-228-5969


Your case will be defended by a fully licensed Practicing Lawyer of the Law Society of Ontario. For more information about our lawyer, click here.

We provide our clients with:
  • Flat fee pricing
  • US travel advice and information
  • Employment background check advice/services
  • Fingerprints and records destruction services
  • Clear goals of getting charges dropped and bail conditions varied without a trial
  • Help with related immigration issues
  • Vulnerable Sector records suppression help
  • Experienced, focused counsel

* Please note:

If you are not a paying client, we cannot answer questions and provide assistance with U.S. travel, immigration, employment background checks, and avoiding a criminal record. This includes those who have already retained other counsel and those whose cases have already been completed.

Are you a lawyer? If you are defending an impaired driving related case and are looking for expert advice regarding possible defences, case strategies, and information release management call us at: 647-228-5969.

Please note: We do not accept legal aid certificate cases. All clients are handled on a private retainer only.


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  We provide:
  • Flat fee pricing
  • 99%+ non-conviction success rate
  • U.S. travel advice and information
  • Help with related immigration issues
  • Employment background check advice/services
  • Fingerprints and records destruction services
  • A clear goal of getting the charges dropped without a trial
  • Vulnerable Sector records suppression help
  • Timely resolutions
  • Lawyer/client privilege
  • Experienced, focused counsel