There are a couple of ways to make sure you won’t get arrested for Driving under the Influence (DUI) or Driving while Intoxicated (DWI):
If you drink, don’t drive.
You may think you can “hold your liquor” and that you haven’t had enough to affect your driving. But you may be wrong.
Driving while intoxicated can cost you your money, your driving privileges, your health, your life, and the lives of those you love. It’s important to understand just how little alcohol it takes to make you legally under the influence.
How many drinks does it take?
A “standard” drink is defined as .6 ounces of pure alcohol. (That’s 6/10 of an ounce – not six ounces.)
That’s the amount of alcohol in:
12 ounces of regular beer
Five ounces of wine
1.5 ounces of hard liquor such as vodka or whiskey
However, not all drinks are “standard.”
Typical beer has a 5% alcohol level, but some gourmet or imported beers may have 8% or more alcohol.
Also, some bars and restaurants serve extra-large beers. A 24 ounce beer is the same as two standard 12-ounce beers.
Some sweet wines, like Moscato, have a lower-than-standard alcohol level. Other “fortified” wines, such as port or sherry, may have an alcohol content up to 50% higher than standard.
Standard drinks for hard liquor are based on brands that are 80 proof (40% alcohol). But some drinks are stronger: Bacardi rum is 151 proof – that’s 75% alcohol. So one shot of Bacardi will affect you as much as two shots of another drink.
The following guidelines are often used to estimate how many drinks you can have and still stay under the legal limit.
For a 120 pound woman, the limit is one standard drink per hour for three hours. A fourth drink in four hours would put her over the limit, as would a third drink in two hours.
For a 180 pound man, the limit is three drinks in the first hour and one drink per hour thereafter.
If you’re over these limits, you can assume you’re intoxicated and you shouldn’t be driving, even if you feel “fine.”
But that doesn’t mean that you’re “safe” if you’re under these limits. There are lots of other factors involved.
For example, if you’re drinking on an empty stomach, you can become drunk much more quickly.
If you’re taking any kind of medication, that can interact with alcohol and make you drunk or sleepy faster.
As noted above, the drinks you’re having may not be “standard,” and you may be drinking more than you think (especially if you’re sharing a pitcher of beer or margaritas with others).
Your own personal tolerance for alcohol may be lower than average, so you may become drunk faster.
You can even be drunk – and unsafe to drive – if your BAC is lower than .08%.
Beating Drunk Driving Charges in Court
You might be arrested for DUI whether or not you’re actually guilty.
The device used to measure your BAC may not have been calibrated or used properly. The police officer who arrested you may not have administered a sobriety test to you in the right way.
When you’ve been arrested for DUI, an experienced New Jersey attorney can advise you on your rights and help you get through the legal process.
Get the individual attention your case deserves
The Law Offices of Marc B. Schram, P.C. serve Ocean, Monmouth and Middlesex county businesses and individuals. For experienced representation, call 732.888.4400 or contact us online to schedule your free initial consultation. We look forward to hearing from you.