Can You Drive After One Glass Of Wine

As someone who loves wine, I am frequently inquired about the impact of drinking alcohol on driving. One frequently asked question is whether it is okay to drive after consuming only one glass of wine. …

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As someone who loves wine, I am frequently inquired about the impact of drinking alcohol on driving. One frequently asked question is whether it is okay to drive after consuming only one glass of wine. In this article, I will explore the specifics and offer my own perspective on this topic.

Understanding Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC)

Before we dive into the specifics, it’s important to understand the concept of Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC). BAC measures the amount of alcohol present in a person’s bloodstream. In most countries, including the United States, a BAC of 0.08% or higher is considered illegal for driving.

However, it’s worth noting that even a BAC below the legal limit can impair your abilities and increase the risk of accidents. Alcohol affects everyone differently, and factors such as weight, metabolism, and tolerance level can influence how alcohol affects an individual.

The Effects of One Glass of Wine

Now, let’s focus on the specific scenario of having just one glass of wine. It’s important to keep in mind that a “standard” drink of wine typically contains around 5 ounces, although this can vary depending on the pour.

After consuming one glass of wine, your BAC will start to rise, but it’s unlikely to reach the legal limit of 0.08%. However, even a small amount of alcohol can affect your driving abilities. Alcohol impairs judgment, slows reaction times, and reduces concentration, which are all crucial skills needed for safe driving.

Additionally, alcohol can affect your coordination and motor skills, making it more difficult to control the vehicle properly. Even though you may feel in control after one glass of wine, the reality is that it can still impact your ability to drive safely.

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Alternatives to Driving

Given the potential risks, it’s always a wise decision to consider alternatives to driving, especially if you’ve consumed any amount of alcohol. Here are some options:

  1. Designated Driver: If you’re out with a group, assign a designated driver who will abstain from alcohol and be responsible for driving everyone home safely.
  2. Public Transportation: Utilize public transportation such as buses, trains, or taxis to get to your destination.
  3. Rideshare Services: Services like Uber and Lyft offer convenient and reliable transportation, allowing you to leave your car at home.
  4. Stay Overnight: If possible, arrange to stay overnight at a friend’s house or book a hotel room near your location.


While it may be tempting to think that one glass of wine won’t impair your ability to drive, the truth is that any amount of alcohol can have negative effects on your driving skills. It’s always better to err on the side of caution and choose alternative transportation options if you have consumed any alcohol.

Remember, the primary goal is to prioritize safety on the roads and ensure the well-being of yourself and others. So, let’s raise a glass of wine responsibly and make smart choices when it comes to driving.

John has been a hobbyist winemaker for several years, with a few friends who are winery owners. He writes mostly about winemaking topics for newer home vintners.
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