An experienced Florida DUI attorney knows better than to advise people to operate under the two drink rule when we are determining whether we can drive home following a celebration. Say we were at a friend’s baby shower, and had a couple of cups out of the rum punch bowl. We’re safe to drive home, right? Unfortunately, this legendary two-drink rule has landed many drivers in jail, incredulously finding them charged with a Florida DUI. Ask almost any police officer and they will tell you they’ve heard virtually every variation of the “But officer I only had a couple of beers,” refrain from people who subsequently blew a .08, rendering them over the legal limit. And, by the way, not realizing you are over the limit is never a valid defense for a DUI.
Forget the Two Drink Rule Says Florida DUI Attorneys
The rate at which alcohol concentrates in an individual’s blood is dependent upon the following: gender, weight, percentage of body fat, fitness level and tolerance level based on how often they consume alcohol. Based on all these differences, a 200 pound man, in excellent physical shape who consumes alcohol several times a week is going to have a far different BAC reading after two drinks than a 110-pound woman who sits behind a desk, never exercises and rarely drinks. Also take into consideration the amount of time which has elapsed since you had the last drink. Based only on the weight of the above two examples, the man will have an approximate .03 BAC, while the woman will have between a .06 and .07—dangerously close to the legal limit of .08. Factor in all the other variables, and those numbers may be even more disparate.
How the Body Metabolizes Alcohol
The only variable which is relatively consistent regardless of the physiological differences is the rate at which the body metabolizes and eliminates alcohol form the body—on average, .015 per hour. A simple example is that if a person had a BAC of 0.15, it would take ten hours for the alcohol to be completely gone from their system. Because sleep has absolutely no effect on how quickly alcohol leaves your body, assuming you left the bar at 2:30 a.m. with that BAC of 0.15 and somehow made it home safely, slept for four hours, and went to work at 7:00 a.m., you could very well still be over the legal limit even though you no longer “felt” drunk. Forget all the other urban myths you’ve heard about drinking lots of water, coffee, or caffeinated soda or eating a big meal in order to sober up faster. The only thing which affects your BAC is time.
Florida DUI Lawyers The Alcohol Variation in Two Drinks
Aside from considering your weight, sex and other variables, you must also consider how much actual alcohol was in the drinks you consumed. Although the standard drink is considered to be one regular-sized bottle of beer, one five-ounce glass or wine, or one mixed drink which has no more than one and a half ounces of 80 proof alcohol, that “standard” does not always apply. Some bars operate on a “free-pour” system which simply means the bartender eyeballs the amount of alcohol which goes into your drink. While veteran bartenders come remarkably close to the one and a half ounces, others could pour as much as double that amount in one drink. If you are drinking a mixture at a friend’s house, you have little way of knowing how much alcohol is actually in your cup of rum punch, other than how it makes you feel.
The bottom line is that should you decide to drive after you’ve only “had a couple,” you may find yourself facing serious DUI charges which could significantly alter your future. It’s extremely important that you immediately hire an experienced Florida DUI attorney who can be your advocate and defend your rights in the coming months. And remember—telling an officer that you’ve only had a couple of beers can come back to haunt you should you be arrested, so exercise your right to remain silent until you’ve contacted an attorney.