How much does the average person drink?

By Jonathan Blecher on August 17, 2022

When someone gets pulled over for a DUI, critics will sometimes say that they should have just not consumed as much alcohol. That would have perhaps kept them under the legal limit, or it would have given their blood alcohol concentration time to fall far enough that they could have driven safely.

But this leads to the question of how much people drink on average. Are there individuals who are simply at a greater risk of getting a DUI because they consistently consume enough alcohol that driving could be problematic? Or are people who get DUIs generally those who have overindulged on a single occasion, which is different than it being a consistent pattern?

Nearly 500 drinks per year

What you’ll find is that the average person drinks a total of nearly 500 alcoholic drinks every single year. While that does sound like a lot, it only breaks down to about a drink and 1/3 every day. This is not enough to get someone’s blood alcohol concentration up over the legal limit, and the body can break down that much alcohol in just over an hour.

The problem here is that you also have a lot of people who don’t drink at all. When they figure out averages, they just look at alcohol sales and compare them to the population. But this doesn’t remove people who are having zero drinks a day, so it means that the actual average for those who do drink is probably a bit higher. If you have three people who don’t drink, the one person who does can have far more than a drink and a third and still come in right at the average.

Anyone who is facing DUI charges needs to know about the legal options they have.


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