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Not all alcoholic drinks have the same potency. The Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) has a chart that shows how much of each type of alcoholic beverage is considered one standard drink. For example, if it is 80 proof liquor, then one standard drink would be considered 1.5 ounces. If it is a beer that is five percent alcohol by volume, then 12 ounces would be considered one standard drink. If it is wine that is 12 percent alcohol by volume, then five ounces would be considered one standard drink.

The standard pour for wine is four to five ounces, but a lot of restaurants or people who pour themselves are going to give themselves eight to 10 ounces. In this way, it is easy for people to consume a lot more than they realize. It is risky to have any more than one drink prior to driving, as doing so could result in a DUI. The best bet is to not drink anything prior to driving.

Will Eating A Meal Help Reduce The BAC Level Before Someone Gets Behind The Wheel?

Absorption and elimination of alcohol is the DUI science that I deal with on a daily basis. A small percentage of alcohol gets absorbed in the mouth, throat, and stomach as someone is drinking, but 75 to 80 percent of it does not get absorbed into the bloodstream until it passes through the pyloric valve, which is at the bottom of the stomach. From there, it goes into the small intestines where the alcohol adheres to follicles, and enters the bloodstream. Eventually, the alcohol reaches the brain, which is what causes impairment.

Drinking on an empty stomach is going to result in the shortest amount of time between the consumption of the alcohol and the time it reaches the brain. If someone is drinking on an empty stomach, it can take 15 to 30 minutes for the full effects to be felt. This means that someone who has two or three drinks on an empty stomach will feel the effects sooner than someone who had food in their stomach prior to earing. Having food in the stomach will slow the rate of absorption, because it will take longer for the alcohol to pass through the pyloric valve. Stomach acids must do their job to digest any food that’s in the stomach, and anything that passes through the pyloric valve. The defense mechanism of the body has to protect what goes into the bloodstream. On a full stomach, it can take up to three hours for the alcohol to pass through the pyloric valve and fully absorb into the bloodstream. However, it is very hard to predict the rate at which alcohol will go to a person’s brain.

Can Even One Drink Impair The Driver’s Ability To Operate A Motor Vehicle Correctly?

Depending on the content of the drink and the individual’s weight, one drink could absolutely impair a person’s ability to drive to the point that a forensic toxicologist would testify to a jury that the individual was impaired. The blood alcohol limit of 0.08 limit is in Vehicle Code Section 23152(b), but under Vehicle Code Section 23152(a), impaired driving is defined as not driving with the care and caution of a sober person. Forensic toxicologists will say that almost everyone is impaired at 0.05, and everyone is impaired at a 0.08. Most DUI attorneys do not agree with that, and this is not supported by research on the matter. Regardless, this is what they will testify to, so people need to be very aware of that.

For more information on Potency Of Alcoholic Drinks In Marin County, a free case evaluation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (415) 886-6333 today.

Aaron Bortel

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