Many people are familiar with how much alcohol they can consume and be legally permissible to drive (under the blood alcohol content statute at least). What some do not understand is the different effect hard alcohol has on the body from beer or wine. Below, I’ll describe the different ways in which hard alcohol can affect your body in far more significant ways than other kinds of drinks.
Hard alcohol (or liquor) is spirituous liquor that contains a higher than 20% alcohol by volume. It includes but is not limited to rum, gin, whiskey, vodka, tequila, cognac, brandy, or any other distilled alcohol. It can be consumed by sipping small amounts served in 2 oz serving glasses, or mixed with non-alcoholic liquids to make a “mixed drink.”
In reality, most of us would be fine if we drank hard alcohol in its original form, as a sipped liquor. The harsh taste of a fiercely alcoholic drink will keep consumption to amounts relative to beer or wine. A scotch on the rocks is a drink to be sipped over time, and in this author’s opinion its effects are kept in balance because of the burn associated with each drink.
The dangerous aspect of drinking hard alcohol comes from when liquor is mixed to create a drink that has the alcoholic content of the original spirit, but the taste of the “mixer.” For example, gin is a neutral spirit distilled with juniper berries. It has a strong taste to it, especially brands like Bombay. While some enjoy a non-mixed gin drink, most will combine it with a variety of ingredients. Perhaps the most prolific mixed drink of all time is the gin and tonic. Gin combined with tonic water create a taste akin to soda water, which make it popular for those who enjoy a drink without the strong taste of alcohol or hops.
How does this relate to DUI? Well, put simply, you never know how much you’re getting in a mixed drink. While a bar recipe will usually prescribe a certain amount of liquor (1 1/2 ounces) to another amount of mixer (6 ounces), most recipes are varied depending on the establishment and bartender. Furthermore, every brand and type of alcohol varies in its alcoholic content, all the way up to liquors which are 51% alcohol by volume. Whereas beer will usually vary between 4.8% and 6%, a negligible difference, a single mixed drink can be between one and four “beers.”
This is dangerous when combined with a car, as a person could have just one mixed drink and drive off, not knowing that they had actually consumed four drinks in a short amount of time. Obviously this person would be over the limit in almost all cases and in almost all jurisdictions. What began as a quick after work aperitif quickly becomes a criminal charge.
The moral of the story is to be careful when consuming hard alcohol. Know the proportions of which you’re drinking, the brand, and ask your bartender to be precise in their measurements. If you do find yourself charged with a DUI or DWI, contact a reputable DUI lawyer immediately. A DUI attorney will represent you in court and defend your rights and freedom.