For the average guy of 190 pounds (86kg) it takes 4 to 5 beers in 1 hour to get drunk, while for the average woman of 160lbs or 73kg, it’s 3 to 4 beers. The term “to get drunk” here means above 0.08% of blood alcohol content (BAC), and in the US that means legally intoxicated (or legally drunk).
Keep in mind that this is only an average approximation. How many beers are needed will depend on many factors, listed below.
One of the factors is the alcohol content in beer. Here is the alcohol content for some popular beers:
- Bud Light alcohol content: 4.2%
- Bud Light Seltzer alcohol content: 5%
- Bud light platinum alcohol content: 6%
- Bud light platinum seltzer alcohol content: 8%
- Coors Light alcohol content: 4.2%
- Michelob Ultra alcohol content: 4.2%
- Michelob Ultra Pure Gold alcohol content: 3.8%
- Corona Extra alcohol content: 4.6%
- Miller Light alcohol content: 4.2%
- Budweiser alcohol content: 5%
- Guinness Draught alcohol content: 4.2%
- Guinness Extra Stout alcohol content: 7.5%
- Heineken alcohol content: 5%
- Samuel Adams Boston Lager alcohol content: 5%
This doesn’t mean that you can safely drive after 3 beers, in fact, you’ll start feeling the effects after only one or two beers. And also, keep in mind that you can get charged with a penalty if you have any alcohol in your blood while driving. Any amount above 0.
No, this means that after 3 or 4 beers you’ll get tipsy, it will start impairing your abilities such as speech and movement.
Let’s define “being drunk”.
In this case, drunk means being legally drunk, or having a blood alcohol content of 0.08% or above.
At this point, the alcohol from the beer is affecting your motor skills and impairing your sense of balance. It’s not just that you’re a little buzzed, but you’re actually drunk. Also, keep in mind that it affects your emotions, so you get loud and aggressive, and you may have difficulty in evaluating sexual situations.
It also affects your judgment, in thinking that you are functioning better than you actually are.
Factors affecting the intoxication
According to BGSU (Bowling Green State University) in Ohio, and the University of Notre Dame, Indiana, the most important factors affecting intoxication are:
- Amount of alcohol & speed of consumption
- Food (have you eaten beforehand)
- Strength of beer (the stronger the beer the faster it gets you drunk)
- Body size (the larger the person the harder to get drunk)
- Gender (women tend to get drunk faster)
- Ethnicity (some ethnicities get drunk easier and for longer)
- Functional tolerance (body’s sensitivity to alcohol’s effects)
- Moods (yes, mood can affect your reaction to alcohol)
- Sleep/fatigue (lack of sleep or tiredness will get you drunk fast)
- Hormones (women on birth control pills may get drunk faster)
- Medications (never drink alcohol while on medications. Alcohol is a drug, and it should be treated no differently than taking any two prescriptions at the same time)
All of these factors affect the rate of getting drunk, some more than others.
Now, let’s see how we can determine the precise amount of beer that will get you drunk.
How Much Beer Does It Take to Get Drunk?
If you’re curious about how much beer it takes to get drunk, the easiest way to calculate it is to use a blood alcohol content (BAC) calculator.
Many BAC calculators are available, including ones found on alcohol.org, calculator.net, and clevelandclinic.org. These calculators use basic factors such as weight, gender, and the number of drinks to estimate the average percentage of alcohol in a person’s bloodstream.
In the United States, the legal driving BAC limit is 0.08% for drivers over 21. This means that you are legally not drunk until your BAC is above 0.08%. For the purposes of this information, let’s assume that a BAC of 0.08% and above is considered drunk.
It takes about 4 to 5 beers for the average man to start feeling tipsy and about 3 to 4 beers for the average woman to feel drunk. “Buzzed” and “tipsy” are similar terms and generally mean that alcohol is starting to affect your behavior, speech, and movement, but you are not fully drunk.
BAC (blood alcohol content) Chart for Men
Based on College of Saint Benedict – Saint John’s University data, I’ve created a BAC (blood alcohol content) chart (or table) for men.
This table shows how many beers will get you drunk on average, taking into account the percentage of alcohol in the beer, and relative weight of the happy soul engaged in this profound activity.
By using this data, you can see how many beers will get you tipsy, under normal conditions (normal sleep, no fatigue, eating regularly, etc).
Just keep in mind these are just average approximations, and no chart in the world can be 100% correct for every person.
However, if we say that 0.08% and above is ‘being legally drunk’, then we can also say that, for some guys even 3 beers is enough to get you drunk. For others it may not be enough to be legally drunk, but you will still feel the effects of being under influence.
Never drive or do any activity that can endanger others if you’ve been drinking.
BAC (blood alcohol content) Chart for Women
Similar to the previous table, this is a BAC table for women, alsowith data from College of Saint Benedict – Saint John’s University.
On csbsju.edu, they also have a nice explanation for various levels of intoxication, from .01 to above .35, which I recommend to read. It’s very useful.
From this table we can see that it takes 1 beer less for women to get drunk. Typically, women get intoxicated much easier then men.
How Much 3.2% Alcohol Drinks to Get Drunk?
For an average sized man of 190lbs (or 89kg), it would take 6-7 beers of 3.2% ABV to get legally drunk in the US.
For an average 160 pounds woman (or 72kg) it would take 4-5 beers of 3.2% ABV to get legally drunk in the US.
Legally drunk means you’ll have equal to or more than 0.08% of blood alcohol content.
Remember that this is not a 100% correct answer for everyone, but an average approximation. This also assumes the person is healthy, above 21, slept well and not fatigued, and generally in good health.
Can 1 or 2 beers get your drunk?
The answer depends on various factors such as body weight, metabolism, and tolerance.
For most people, it’s unlikely that 1 or 2 beers will result in legal intoxication. However, it’s important to remember that alcohol affects everyone differently, so it’s best to drink responsibly and avoid driving after consuming alcohol. Always prioritize your safety and the safety of others.
Will two beers cause you to fail a breathalyzer test?
It’s possible to fail a breathalyzer test after consuming just two beers, but it depends on your body weight, metabolism, and how quickly you drink the beers.
It takes about 2 hours for your body to metabolize one standard drink (such as a 12-ounce beer with 5% alcohol). However, the legal limit for blood alcohol content (BAC) in the US is 0.08%, and even small amounts of alcohol can impair your ability to drive safely.
To ensure you don’t fail a breathalyzer test, it’s best to avoid driving after drinking any amount of alcohol.
How Many Beers to Get Drunk (examples)
I’ve taken 4 of the most popular beers in the US and calculated how many of each is necessary to get legally drunk (0.08% and above).
0.08% is a legal limit for everyone above 21 considering driving a car. For those below 21 the limit is 0.00% to 0.02% depending the state.
In order to calculate this, I’ve simply taken the percentage of alcohol in these beers and entered it into several calculators above. I’ve also used the charts. I’ve used two periods for drinking for some beers and only 1 for others, and I’ve taken the averages of the calculators and the chart.
It’s very difficult to know the right answer because it depends on how often you drink, your body size, your habits, your genetics, are you tired, have you slept, and much more.
But, general approximations can be made. So here they are (mostly for men, but there is also general info for women as well):
How Many Bud Lights to Get Drunk?
the number of Bud Light cans or bottles required to get legally drunk depends on weight, alcohol content, and time.
For a 190 pound man, it would take 7-8 cans or 5 bottles of Bud Light to get legally drunk in one hour. A woman weighing 160 pounds would take 5-6 cans or 4 bottles of Bud Light in one hour. Bud Light Platinum has a higher alcohol content and can get you drunk with only 3-4 bottles.
Here are Bud Light Intoxication Levels by Weight and Drinking Time:
|Weight/Alcohol Content||Number of Bud Light Cans/Bottles||Drinking Time||Intoxication Level|
|190lb Man, 5% ABV||7-8 cans or 5 bottles||1 hour||Legally drunk|
|190lb Man, 5% ABV||8-9 cans or 6 bottles||2 hours||Legally drunk|
|160lb Woman, 5% ABV||5-6 cans or 4 bottles||1 hour||Legally drunk|
|160lb Woman, 5% ABV||6-7 cans or 5 bottles||2 hours||Legally drunk|
|N/A, 6% ABV (Bud Light Platinum)||3-4 bottles||N/A||Legally drunk|
How Many Coors to Get Drunk?
Same as Bud Light, it would take you 7-8 Coors cans (8oz) for a 190 pound man to get legally drunk (0.08% and above) in 1 hour, and 8-9 in 2 hours. For 12oz Coors bottles, it would take 5 Coors Light 12fl oz bottles, for the average male (same as Bud Light).
For women, it would take 5 to 6 Coors Light cans in 1 hour and 4 Coors Light bottles in 1h, to get drunk.
Coors Light is a 4.2% beer and comes in 8oz cans or 12oz bottles, same as Bud Light.
How Many Budweisers to Get Drunk?
It takes 4 Budweisers in 1 hour to get a 190lbs man legally drunk, and 3 Budweisers in 1 hour to make a 160lbs woman drunk.
Male, weight (190lbs or 86kg), Budweiser bottle (12oz), 5% of alcohol:
- 1 Budweiser in 30 minutes = 0.017%
- 2 Budweisers in 1 hour = 0.035%
- 3 Budweisers in 1 hour = 0.055%
- 4 Budweisers in 1 hour = 0.082%
- 5 Budweisers in 1 hour = 0.104%
It would also take you around 7-8 hours to get completely sober, at 0%.
Budweiser comes in variety of bottles ranging from 7 to 40 US fluid ounces (210 to 1180ml), but the most popular is 12oz bottle at 5% ABV.
How Many Miller Lites to Get Drunk?
To get legally drunk with 190 pounds of body weight, it would take only 3 to 4 Miller Lites (16oz cans) in an hour. For a woman weighing 160 pounds, it would take 3 Miller Lites in one hour.
Miller Lite is available in various sizes including 12oz, 16oz, and 24oz cans. For consistency, the calculations are based on 16oz cans of Miller Lite with an alcohol by volume (ABV) of 4.2%.
The following table shows the approximate levels of intoxication for a 190lb man drinking Miller Lite at various rates:
|Drinking Time||Number of Miller Lites Consumed||Intoxication Level|
|30 minutes||1 can||0.019%|
|1 hour||2 cans||0.038%|
|1 hour||3 cans||0.064%|
|1 hour||4 cans||0.091%|
|90 minutes||4 cans||0.083%|
|2 hours||4 cans||0.075%|
Please keep in mind that the actual effects of alcohol may vary depending on individual factors such as weight, metabolism, and tolerance. It’s always important to drink responsibly and never drink and drive.
How long can you stay drunk?
It generally takes your body about one hour to metabolize one standard drink, but individual experiences may vary.
Is it safe to drive after drinking two beers?
It is unsafe to drive after drinking any alcohol, including two beers. Alcohol can impair your judgment, reaction time, and motor skills, all essential for safe driving.
What beer should a beginner drink?
A beginner may want to start with a light beer, such as a pilsner or lager. These beers tend to have lower alcohol content and a milder taste that is easier to drink.
Does drinking water make you less drunk?
While drinking water can help to prevent dehydration and reduce the effects of alcohol, it will not speed up the process of metabolizing alcohol in your body. Only time can do that, meaning the water doesn’t make you less drunk.
It is possible that drinking water helped you to feel more alert and hydrated, which made you feel more sober, but it did not actually affect the rate at which your liver metabolized the alcohol.
How can I become sober quickly?
The only way to sober up quickly is to wait. It takes about one hour for your liver to metabolize one standard drink, so the only way to become sober is to give your body time to process the alcohol. Drinking water, eating food, and getting rest can help you feel better, but they will not speed up the process of metabolizing alcohol.
Stay safe, and enjoy beer!