Asserting Your Rights And Protecting Your Future

Counting drinks doesn’t always prevent DUI arrests

On Behalf of | Jun 10, 2024 | DUI

No one wants a fun night out with friends or an invitation to a wedding to lead to a driving under the influence (DUI) charge. Whether someone only drinks at special events or regularly enjoys a few cocktails or IPAs with friends, they probably do their best to comply with the law.

The average person asks other people to help them get home if they realize they have had too much to drink. However, quite a few people arrested for drunk driving didn’t realize they were over the legal limit before a traffic stop again.

One of the tactics people use to avoid DUI charges is to count how many drinks they have consumed. Unfortunately, that tactic may not work as well as people might expect.

Why people count drinks

Regardless of what type of alcohol someone consumes, every drink that they enjoy increases their blood alcohol concentration (BAC). Once someone’s BAC reaches 0.08%, they are at risk of a DUI charge if they drive. As a general rule, people can metabolize the alcohol in one drink every hour. In theory, counting the number of drinks enjoyed allows someone to know how long they must wait before they can safely drive.

Why counting doesn’t work

There are many variables that can influence how well people metabolize alcohol. Whether or not someone ate a meal recently, their overall body weight, their age and their sex can influence their alcohol tolerance. A woman, for example, usually takes longer to metabolize the alcohol in a drink when compared with a man of the same weight as her.

Even if an individual knows exactly how many drinks they can personally tolerate, they may not know exactly how much alcohol is in any drink that they enjoy. Mixed drinks can have different amounts of liquor depending on the establishment that someone frequents.

Different types of beers have different alcohol levels. A single glass of wine at one restaurant might actually be closer to a serving and a half if the business has large stemware. While counting drinks can give someone a rough idea of how long they need to wait before getting behind the wheel, there is no guarantee that waiting one hour per drink is sufficient to protect someone from a DUI charge.

There are sometimes scenarios in which people know unquestionably that they were not over the legal limit despite what test results indicate. Fighting DUI charges on the basis of inaccurate chemical testing is one viable defense strategy. People who try to be safe and who get arrested anyway may need assistance as they look at their options for fighting against their pending charges.