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What is a standard drink of alcohol?

On Behalf of | Oct 20, 2022 | DUI Defense

If you enjoy drinking alcohol, you may have heard of a standard drink. People often use it as a basis to calculate how much they can drink before driving.

What exactly is it, and can you really use this measure to avoid an arrest for driving under the influence (DUI)? A standard drink contains 14 grams of pure alcohol. How that translates depends on your tipple of choice. 

For example, one standard drink is generally considered to be:

  • A 12-ounce glass or can of 5% alcohol beer
  • A 5-ounce glass of table wine
  • A 3 to 4-ounce glass of sherry
  • A 1.5-ounce glass of whisky, brandy, vodka or tequila

Research suggests that around four standard drinks is enough to put you at the legal limit of 0.08 BAC (blood alcohol content). Remember, some drivers are subject to lower limits.

Research also suggests that your body can process alcohol at the rate of one standard drink per hour. So those trying to assess if they are safe to drive need to weigh up those two theories.

The problem is those guidelines are unreliable

Here is why you can’t trust those guidelines:

  • There is no standard human body: They are all unique, so each processes alcohol at different rates. A particular individual’s rate can also vary from one occasion to the next.
  • Drinks also vary from the standard: For example, some beer bottles contain more liquid, and some beers are stronger than others.

As you can see, it’s easy to get it wrong so it’s best not to even try. While several DUI defense options are available, the best way to avoid a DUI is not to drive if you’re not 100% certain of your sobriety. 



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