Travis Noble, P.C. | Attorneys At Law
Travis Noble, P.C. | Attorneys At Law
Travis Noble, P.C. | Attorneys At Law

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Counting drinks doesn’t always protect someone from DWI charges

On Behalf of | Apr 23, 2024 | BAC

No one wants to end a night out with friends or a romantic evening with a drunk driving traffic stop. Police officers can pull people over when they suspect them of intoxication. Anyone who fails field sobriety tests or chemical testing might end up facing driving while intoxicated (DWI) charges. A judge can order someone to spend time in jail, submit to probation, pay large fines or perform community service. A DWI on someone’s record can affect their employment opportunities and what they pay for insurance.

Most people who responsibly enjoy alcohol try to find ways to minimize their risk of getting arrested. Counting drinks can theoretically help someone determine when they may have had too much to drink. Despite the faith people put in this tactic, those who count drinks can still end up facing DWI charges. Why isn’t drink counting a reliable way to estimate impairment?

Every drink is different

One of the main reasons that counting drinks is not as effective as people expect is that every bartender has different practices and every drink has a different amount of alcohol in it. One Long Island iced tea at someone’s favorite bar could have drastically different alcohol content than the same beverage ordered at a local dive bar. Especially if people drink cocktails and other mixed drinks, differences in the preparation process could mean that one drink is far stronger than the next.

“Every body” is different

Even if someone consistently orders the same beverage and goes to the same establishment, at best they can estimate how a certain number of drinks might affect their driving ability. People can typically process the alcohol of one drink per hour. Even that can be different for individuals. If a man and a woman drink the same number of drinks prepared by the same bartender over the same amount of time, the woman would likely have a much higher BAC than the man when undergoing chemical testing. Other factors, including someone’s age, their underlying health conditions and even what they ate that day could affect the results of chemical testing.

Counting drinks can be helpful if someone gives themselves an hour for each beverage they enjoy, but they still need to be cautious about their conduct after a night out or risk getting arrested for a DWI offense. Those who understand the limitations of strategies to avoid DWI charges can make better decisions while out enjoying a few drinks with dinner.

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Travis L. Noble is a graduate of the National College for DUI Defense at Harvard University, and he lectures at seminars nationwide on DWI/DUI topics. He is the lawyer whom other lawyers consult to defend their DWI clients. Most importantly, he has a track record of successfully defending some of the toughest DWI cases in Missouri and beyond.

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