The answer depends on the location, right? The answer will be different depending on whether you’re at a ballpark, at a ballet, or at a bar. If you ask someone at a baseball game, the answer would be “beer”. If you ask this question at a ballet the answer will be “wine, fine wine”. A bar goer, meanwhile, may say the answer will always be “hard liquor because it will get you buzzed quicker!”
However, it’s the DUI attorney who gets asked this question most often, usually on the morning after a person gets released from jail after a DUI arrest. As a DUI attorney who has reviewed thousands of DUI arrest reports the answer is always the same – beer is the best. Now let me qualify that answer. It’s not the best tasting as I personally could never stand the taste of beer. Actually in my drinking days I either preferred a cabernet or a margarita while floating on a raft in my neighbor’s swimming pool. But I digress. When it comes down to the business of DUI defense I always prefer hearing that my client drank beer – not wine or hard liquor. The reason for this preference is solely a numbers game. I’ll explain below:
As you can see from the table above, beer gives the lowest reading. The drink consumed matters at the end of the night. Wine can be surprising because it tastes smooth but it produces blood alcohol content (“BAC”) readings on the level of hard liquor! These numbers can be higher if you weigh less and/or are female. Also, the numbers are cumulative. The more you drink the higher the BAC and the longer it takes to burn off. As an aside, telling a cop that you only had 2-beers doesn’t really help. (This is the common answer to a police officer’s question regardless of how much alcohol the person drank because it’s assumed the officer will just let the person go home. The officer always ignores this answer and requests the person to submit to field sobriety tests and give a breath or blood sample. The resulting BAC tends to indicate a lot more than 2-beers!)
Here’s a word problem for you…If Adam took a train from Los Angeles traveling east at 60 mph at 4 p.m. and drank in the dining car a total of 3-shots of tequila and a beer until 6 p.m., what time would Adam arrive in Victorville and what would his BAC be at that time? The answer will appear in the next blog entry! Until then, stay tuned!!!
*Now, I’ll apply the disclaimer that these numbers are approximations and any other legal jargon that needs to be said to state that “I’m not giving you legal advice or a promised result, so don’t try to sue me!”