Every bartender will tell you, no two bartenders are alike and therefore no two mixed drinks are alike. Mixed drinks, made by mixing some form of distilled liquor with a “mixer” such as soda, milk or juice, carry the alcoholic content of the liquor and the pleasant flavor or the mixer. This makes the consumption of “hard liquor” the easiest way to get charged with driving under the influence. Hard liquor, the distilled variety, carries much more of an alcoholic content than beer or wine.
Beer and wine, usually created through a fermentation process, have a lower alcohol content. Some beers, such as the well known 3.2 (percent alcohol) may not even be considered alcoholic beverages. The percent of alcohol per volume in beer and wine is usually between four and ten percent and rarely passes twelve percent. Hard liquor can range anywhere from twenty percent alcohol by volume to seventy five percent for liquors such as 151 proof rum. In some states it is actually possible to buy pure alcohol, such as moonshine. The effects of this type of liquor will be much greater than beer or wine. It is likely that a person will need to drink up to four beers to get the same alcohol content as one mixed drink. Distilled alcohol is a much purer form than any drink that is fermented.
That is why the distilled spirit liquors are mixed with other flavorings. Consuming spirits straight may not be pleasant tasting. Mixing it makes it go down easier and increases blood alcohol levels much quicker. Anyone drinking mixed drinks at the same rate another is consuming beer or wine is likely to have a BAC two to four times greater. Since no two drinks are mixed alike, the more alcohol in a drink the faster a BAC rises. The absorption of alcohol into the blood takes some time and hard liquor will hit harder after the passage of time. That is why hard liquor is the fastest way to get intoxicated. As the body absorbs the alcohol into the blood the effects are felt. Having one beer every hour will not have much of an effect on an average person but having one mixed drink can multiply that effect by four. Consider also that mixed drinks today can contain two, three or even four different types of alcohol. Drinks such as the Fuzzy Navel or the Long Island Iced Tea contain two to four times as much liquor as a normal mixed drink. Having a couple of these will really get a person on the way to a “good buzz”. Getting behind the steering wheel of a car with even the slightest buzz is a recipe for a DWI.
The quicker you get intoxicated and get behind a wheel the easier it is to face a charge of driving under the influence. Telling the officer “I only had two drinks” can be compared to having six to eight beers. Remember Ogden Nash said it best when he said “candy is dandy but liquor is quicker”.