Many people use alcohol on a regular basis and do so responsibly. However, when celebrating, gathering or drinking with friends, it can be all too easy to drink too much and end up with a blood-alcohol level above the legal limit on an Intoxilyzer test.
It’s common for people to know their limits and quantify those limits in terms of how many drinks to have in one setting. These can be easy rules to follow. It may be in terms of having no more than two beers or no more than a glass of wine. These rules are based on the typical strength of these beverages and the typical size of a serving. However, many people are unaware of just how strong their alcoholic beverages are.
This is true for two reasons. Firstly, both beer and wine are getting stronger. In decades past, most of the beers on the market were lagers, and most were about 5 percent alcohol by volume. In recent years, ales have reemerged as prominent options on the beverage scene, and ales are routinely stronger than lagers. Similarly, wines often contain 2 to 3 percent more alcohol than what consumers may be used to based on past products. In addition, flavored malt beverages can be as strong as 12 percent alcohol, despite the fact that most people think of these beverages as being similar to beer and drink them like beer.
Secondly, serving sizes at bars are often larger than the servings people consume at home. A typical bottle of beer is 12 ounces, and many people consider this to be a typical drink when determining how much alcohol they can safely consume. But at bars, draught beers are typically served in pint glasses, which are 16 ounces. Similarly, wine is often served at bars in larger, 6-ounce glasses than the typical 5-ounce glasses many people are used to.
How these drinks affect people’s blood-alcohol levels will depend on a variety of factors, including a person’s weight. But with stronger beer and wine being served in larger glasses, it can be all too easy to find oneself facing DWI charges.
Source: HealthDay, “How Much Alcohol In Your Drink? Stronger Beverages Make It Tough to Tell,” Brenda Goodman, Oct 15. 2013