Different types of alcoholic beverages can vary widely in the amount of alcohol that they contain. Obviously a light beer does not contain the same amount of alcohol as vodka. However, some people may be surprised to find out how much alcohol is actually in their drink. This is most difficult to determine when dealing with mixed drinks. If you go to a new bar, they may have a drink that is mixed quire stronger than you are used to. It is very hard to gauge exactly how much alcohol that you are consuming. Only having one drink could mean that you are getting the alcohol you normally get with two drinks. With beers, you can check the percentage of alcohol on the label. Wines also vary on the amount of alcohol that they contain.
Another factor beyond the alcohol content of the beverage you are consuming is the size of the container. Having a pint of beer is obviously different that having a standard sized can of beer. But this can become more difficult to assess with wine glasses, which can also vary substantially. Only having one glass of wine can still cause impairment if the glass is large enough.
Beyond the problem with knowing exactly how much alcohol is in the drink you are drinking is the number of drinks. Even the weakest light beer can cause severe inebriation if enough are consumed. This means that you are not able to drink a lot of beer and be fine to drive, thinking to yourself, “It doesn’t have that much alcohol in it.” Even the weakest beers can add up very quickly.
It can be hard enough for a person who is familiar with their body’s tolerance to make a decision about whether they are safe to drive. It is even harder for a person who has not had much experience with alcohol before. A person with little knowledge of how they react to alcohol can quickly find themselves the subject of a DWI investigation if they choose to get behind the wheel of a car. This does not mean that two men who are the same bodyweight and physiology will not have same alcohol concentration depending on their experience with drinking. Their bodies will process alcohol at the same speed. However, the less experienced drinker will experience more impairing effects of the alcohol. Therefore, even people who feel like they know their limit should be warned, because if their blood alcohol concentration is .08 or more, they can still be convicted, even if they do not feel impaired in the slightest.
So what is the best policy when it comes to alcohol and driving? The best idea is to not drive when you have had any alcohol. This is the surefire way to avoid a DWI conviction. Sure, it is inconvenient, but when you weigh the costs of avoiding alcohol before driving against the potential costs of an accident, injuries, fatalities, and legal consequences, there is no contest. Even when you think you are fine to drive, you have to realize that a police officer may not agree with you. Even if you are found not guilty or the charges are dismissed, you still must undergo the pain of being arrested, processed, and going to court. You will lose your license for an initial period of time. This is not worth it.