Getting behind the wheel of a car after consuming any amount of alcohol is a bad idea. And, at various established thresholds — be it at .05 or .08, whatever — doing so is illegal. We all know that, or should.

So, how many drinks and how much alcohol does it take to reach .08, the breathalyser reading that in Alberta, as well as many jurisdictions, constitutes being legally impaired? Who hasn’t faced a drive home from a social night out with friends and asked themselves the question, "Am I OK to drive?"

How many drinks does it take to reach .164, the reading that resulted in goaltender Nikolai Khabibulin of the Edmonton Oilers being convicted of extreme DUI — he is appealing the finding — in Arizona? There is no one answer to either question because there are so many factors to consider, but we’re going to take a swing at both today live on the Jason Gregor Show on TEAM 1260 from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.

With Khabibulin’s conviction and subsequent 30-day sentence for extreme DUI in the headlines, Gregor and JGS producer Meg Morrison will conduct an unorthodox on-air experiment in an attempt to come up with some answers.

They’re going to get drunk on live radio.


While Gregor and Morrison won’t be the first radio personalities to go on the air impaired, they might be the first to do so in a measured attempt to shine some light on what it takes to reach the minimum level of legal impairment and the flat-out drunk level a reading of .164 represents.

I’ll be riding shotgun on the exercise, sober as a judge, as will a national employment screening company that specializes in drug and alcohol testing. Gregor and Morrison will consume alcohol in measured amounts in controlled intervals during the show. A representative of the company will monitor them by administering breathalyser tests.

This sanctioned on-air bit of boozing is the idea of Ross MacLeod, TEAM 1260 brand manager. "This isn’t specifically about Khabibulin. It’s about the .164 reading and the issue of alcohol," MacLeod said. "The Khabibulin story has spawned a lot of questions. How much booze does it take to get to .164? What about .08? We obviously can’t relate it specifically to Khabibulin because there are so many variables and everybody is different, but can we get an approximation? That’s the question and the curiosity."


Those variables, it goes without saying, are many. The size and weight of the person has to be taken into account. Metabolism and individual drinking habits are a factor. What has the person had to eat? As we’ve all seen, two drinks can put one person on the floor, while another might be fine — legally and otherwise — having consumed the same drinks during the same time period.

This on-air exercise, then, while controlled, can hardly be called scientific and it won’t provide definitive answers as to what it takes to reach legal impairment of .08 or the reading of .164. It might, however, open some eyes about both thresholds, which is the object of the exercise — that and getting people to think twice about getting behind the wheel if they are anything but stone, cold sober.

In addition, we hope to have a spokesperson from MADD on during the show, so tune in.

— Listen to Robin Brownlee Wednesdays and Thursdays from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. on the Jason Gregor Show on TEAM 1260.

  • JG got a bit preachy making his points at the end but whatever. A novel way to experience what we were all somewhat aware of.

    I forked a few bucks over to madd in a gesture of appreciation for an effort well made.

  • Quicksilver ballet

    Not that I heard the show, but 11 drinks? Wow. I haven’t been able to get anywhere close to that since university. I can’t drive after 3 drinks in 2 hours, never mind 11 in 3. I’d be passed out. Thanks for the education, it is appreciated.

  • Bucknuck

    Anyone see the WKRP episode, when Dr. Johnny Fever took part in an on aire drinking test with the police and his reflexes get better after each drink: can’t believe such a rinky-dink concept is actually being played out: just bush

    • ubermiguel

      A classic episode! That’s the first thing I thought of when I read about this experiment.

      I don’t mind the experiment though. I was genuinely curious about the results. I am stunned that it was 10+ drinks in 3 hours. If Khabi’s breathalyzer results are even close to accurate he earned that “extreme” DUI conviction.

  • Hemmertime

    The radio show was okay, but it kinda made me wish Khabby got busted for pot instead. If JG and Mrs Morrison’s tolerance was low that would have been award winning 3 hours of radio.

  • book¡e

    I have ranted against drunk driving a fair bit across the various Oiler blogs. I also think that the culture in Alberta and much of North America has a real problem with Binge Drinking and excess in general (how many litres is a Big Gulp now?), but I have no problems with Gregor doing this on the radio show. Its his body and I am pretty sure that the ‘youth of today’ don’t look to him as a role model anyway (insert smileyface here).

    Look, there has been a lot of debate about how ‘drunk’ .163 is over the last few weeks. This gives some basic baseline in an entertaining way.

    With that said, it is really really unhealthy to binge drink like that and it generally should be avoided.

  • Bryzarro World

    I think I’m going to have a party this weekend and nobody is allowd to leave until they hit a .16. Of course I will be keeping all the keys that night… unless you have a dd so I can go into each of your cars and leave a signed pair of Ruben’s panties in the glove boxes.

  • Victoria

    I was kind of on my high horse when I heard about this “experiment”, wondering if it was grandstanding. However, I listened in and Gregor was amazingly lucid throughout, and kept reiterating the point that he would stop driving at .04 and not zero eight. Having the lighter (and, yes, taller) Meg Morrison mucking in with her remarks just reinforced his remarks. (Her giggle-fest was kind of endearing.) Yes, it wasn’t scientific, but you’d have to be in denial not to realize that they were telling us that .08 actually gives a lot of leeway to the drinking driver. All in all, this senior says, “Well done. Point made.”

    • Victoria

      Glad to hear we won you over.

      We took the exercise seriously, even if it sounds weird to say that about drinking on the air. Ross MacLeod didn’t suggest it as a gag routine or a joke and Jason, Meg and I tried not to treat it as one.

      We’re not trying to suggest we came up with anything definitive, for all the obvious reasons, but we hope we made a point and got some people to think about the issue and their own habits.

  • Mike Modano's Dog

    That was a great show, and entertaining as hell! That was hilarious, how you suggested that you had no desire to ‘babysit’ those two ‘drunks’ on the air when you left.

    And yes, Meg’s giggling was very endearing…props to all of you for doing this!

    Great show, Jason, and for keeping it together as well as you did…even if your sign-off seemed to go on forever mentioning the same point over and over and over again – lol! (I have the ability to do this without drinking at all. 😉

  • Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach

    I’d also like to mention for those of you making fun of the Team for doing this, that this wasn’t the first time it was done in Edmonton. CISN did it a few years back, as per the email Gregor read from MADD.

  • Man, there’s no way I could have done this without being taken off the air by whatever governing body controls swear words on radio and TV.

    When I drink I swear …. a lot.

    I swear a lot when I don’t drink so the booze just amplifies that I guess.

  • Bandwagon jumper

    I applaud Gregor and Meg for doing this.

    The best thing that came from this and the whole Khabi case, is it has brought the topic forward in a big way.

    Last night at the dinner table, my 8 year old daughter asks about drinking and driving. This led to a 20 minute conversation about alcohol, responsible drinking, and finally, drinking and driving. Last night, we made a rule that she can call us anytime, day or night, to come and pick up her and/or her friends who have had a drink or two. Hope she waits 10 years before ever needing my driving services, but that is another story.

    Way to go Gregor and Meg!

    • Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach

      Generally that’s how most parents are, but you need to make the rule that you don’t give her a talking the next day.

      The one thing teens don’t like is having to hear about things from their parents that night or the next day. The rule I like was as long as I didn’t do something extremely stupid, then what happens the night I get picked up isn’t spoke about.

      Just be an arse like my dad and play the stereo at 6 in the morning.

  • book¡e

    Also,the more I thought about it. What kind of kids are you raising if they Listen to Robin’s radio show? Shouldn’t they be playing with their x-box or meeting people on the internet or something?