It is important to keep track of not only the number of drinks you consume on your night out, but also the type of drinks. Different types of alcoholic drinks vary in their alcohol content and thus some drinks can cause greater levels of intoxication than others. Before you make the decision to drive home after your night out on the town, it is important to evaluate how much alcohol is actually in your system in order to determine if you are legally allowed to drive.

Even if you feel that you are sober enough to properly operate your vehicle, a police officer may still pull you over under the suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol. If the officer asks you the number of drinks you had earlier, he or she may assume that you have consumed much more alcohol than you actually have. A person who had three mixed drinks consumed much more alcohol than did someone who drank three beers. Remember that the officer may use any statement you make against you in order to charge you with a DUI.

Normally, one standard drink is defined by charts and statistics as:

  • One 12 oz. beer. Many beers contain around 5{0f0fc6bf5bd959fc253a0668ee6b669dcca87a64289522d38fccac0cb86058d7} alcohol, although others vary in their alcohol content. Some specialty beers can have an alcohol content that ranges from 12{0f0fc6bf5bd959fc253a0668ee6b669dcca87a64289522d38fccac0cb86058d7} to more than 20{0f0fc6bf5bd959fc253a0668ee6b669dcca87a64289522d38fccac0cb86058d7} alcohol, while light beers often contain less than 5{0f0fc6bf5bd959fc253a0668ee6b669dcca87a64289522d38fccac0cb86058d7} alcohol. While beer is often served in a 12 oz glass, sometimes it can be served in 16, 18, or 22 oz glasses, depending on the establishment.
  • One 4 oz glass of wine. Most wines have similar alcohol contents, and a 4 to 5 oz glass is the equivalent to one standard drink. A wine cooler contains the same amount of alcohol as one glass of wine
  • One shot of 80 proof liquor. 80 proof liquor is 40{0f0fc6bf5bd959fc253a0668ee6b669dcca87a64289522d38fccac0cb86058d7} alcohol by volume. Most whiskeys, vodkas, rums, and tequilas are 80 proof, although some can vary, such as “151” rum, named for its proof.

Although standard or traditional recipes for certain mixed drinks do exist, most mixed drinks are highly variable in their alcohol content. Different establishments use different amounts and types of liquors in their mixed drinks. While one bartender may use one shot of an 80 proof liquor in a particular drink, another may use two shots along with another type of liquor. Therefore, not all variations of the same drink have the same alcohol content.

By being mindful of how much alcohol is likely in each drink you consume throughout the night, you can better make an informed decision about your ability to drive. For more information about issues related to DUI charges, visit the website of Rhode Island drunk driving attorney James Powderly.