When you get pulled over under suspicion of a DUI, police, among other things, often request a test of your blood alcohol content (BAC) to attempt to determine if you driving under legal limits, not impaired and safe to operate a motor vehicle. Following the one drink per hour rule can help you stay within legal levels.
The one drink per hour rule
It is a good rule of thumb to try and have only one drink per hour. This is a surefire way to keep your BAC within legal limits. While having more than one drink may still keep you within safe limits, it’s important to note that an average male hits a dangerous BAC range after only having three drinks in a single hour.
Not fully understanding what constitutes one drink is the primary reason this practice fails. The definition of a drink isn’t about the size of the glass, but rather the amount of alcohol within that drink. An average beer is around 12 ounces and is 5% alcohol. This equals a single drink
You’re an average man, around 180 pounds, out for the night and have five drinks in a single hour. Three hours later, your senses are still impaired and you really shouldn’t drive. Five hours later your BAC is almost back to zero, but this is five hours without any additional drinks. An average woman, weighing around 160 pounds wouldn’t be safe to drive five hours after having five drinks.
Surefire ways to avoid getting a DUI
Because it’s so easy to accidentally drink too much to safely drive, it’s best to not drive yourself if you’re going out for the night. There are so many alternatives to driving today should you need them, including:
- Taxis, Uber, Lyft – the options to have someone else drive you to and from a night out have multiplied significantly in the last few years. It’s now so much easier to secure a ride. You just use your phone, wait a little while, and safely get home.
- Designate a driver – if you often go out in a larger group, taking turns as the designated driver helps ensure your whole friend group safely gets home.
- Stay put – if your night out takes place at a friend's house, don't be afraid to ask if you can crash on their couch. If you don't feel safe driving, staying where you are can be the best option to ensure your safety without leaving your car behind.
If you have to drive, there are now apps to help you control your BAC. Check out this list of options which all help you determine whether or not you've had too much to drink to drive. Please remember though, these aren't 100% accurate. Your safest option and the best away to avoid a DUI is to not drive and find an alternative way home.
What to do if you get a DUI
Getting convicted of a DUI stays on your driving record permanently, so it’s important to talk to an experienced attorney before going to court. Should you get a DUI, contact a law firm well-versed in handling this type of charge. Not only can they help you navigate the legal process, but they may prevent you from paying typical penalties such as fines and court fees.