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What Is a “Drink”?

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We have all heard the saying “I only had one drink.” What does that really mean in the context of alcohol consumption? Is your preferred “drink” really only one drink? Understanding what you’re really drinking is important to know when you consider what the outcomes could be if misunderstood. Drinking responsibly is always the answer for a good reason. Maintain your rights and privileges by understanding them better with the following references.

Defining a Standard Drink

It’s your right to “have a drink” – even a few – if you want. It’s also your responsibility to understand what that really means, and legally abide by it. While laws were not created to stop you from having a glass of wine or a beer with your meal, they were created to protect yourself and others during and after alcohol consumption. Actively knowing and applying what is realistically considered “a drink” will benefit your lifestyle, overall safety, and allow you to enjoy your favorite drink more responsibly and with perspective. The following chart, via the National Institute of Health, can help you better understand what just one drink really is in reference to type of alcoholic beverage you are having: Standard Drink Chart As the chart shows, different drinks contain different amounts of alcohol. Make the conscience and responsible effort to plan and manage your drinking throughout a meal or a night, understanding the varying levels of alcohol that you consume. Keep in mind that differing brands and drink types can alter levels of blood alcohol as well. In addition to consulting the menu, always feel free to ask wait-and-bar staff for information about the alcohol content of your ordered beverage, e.g. alcohol proof and other ingredients.

BAC Calculator and Chart

Measuring your blood alcohol concentration, BAC, should not be described as “one size fits all.” Such a measurement should be individual and ranging provided with varying variables. To better understand your personal drinking limits use a calculator or chart. Use these and other charts to better educate yourself about your drinking limits, but do not use such calculators or charts to erroneously judge if you are fit to operate a motor vehicle. This is never a question, never drink and drive.

Legal Limit

While many states do have ranging legal alcohol limits, understanding California’s legal limits will benefit you. Per California’s DUI law it is illegal to operate motor vehicles under the following circumstances:
  • 08% or Higher – 21 years old or older operating a regular passenger vehicle
  • 04% or Higher – operating a commercial vehicle
  • 01% or Higher – younger than 21 years old.
Avoiding these legal limits and situations are key to yours and other’s safety. In the advent that you do find yourself in a legal situation, seek legal counsel through a lawyer in your area. Proactively understanding and measuring your alcohol consumption with these two main resources will greatly benefit your drinking experiences, safety, and avoidable legal situations. Educated and aware drinkers are always better off than those than those who are not. Planning and predicting far in advance will make your celebrations, meals, parties, and other occasions more enjoyable. While this article does provide relevant educational information, it does not provide all necessary legal facts – especially relevant to your individual case or question. For possible legal information and counsel contact Bradly Corbett Law here.    

Bradley Corbett

Bradley Corbett is a criminal defense attorney in San Diego. He graduated from Brigham Young University in Provo Utah in 2004. Later he enrolled at Thomas Jefferson School of Law in San Diego where he participated in a prestigious internship program with the Los Angeles County Public Defender. Since then he has handled over 2,000 cases.

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