Many people have the false impression that driving after one drink is OK. The truth is that even one glass of wine can make you legally drunk. Many factors affect a person’s tolerance for alcohol. The number of drinks consumed is only one of them.
For example, a joint study by Cornell and Iowa State universities found that the size and shape of a glass can affect how much people pour in various circumstances. Every participant was asked to pour the same amount of wine each time regardless of the setting. No one could do it. They poured 12 percent more wine into a wide glass compared to a narrow one. They also tended to pour more wine when the drinker was holding the glass versus having it on the table. As the lead author put it, “One person’s two is totally different from another person’s two.”
The individual physical characteristics of a person’s body also affects tolerance, including their body mass index (BMI), weight, the alcohol content of the drink, how much alcohol is consumed over a certain timeframe, and even the setting where the drinking occurred.
All of this means that California drivers need to be especially cautious no matter how much they drink. One glass of chardonnay could be all it takes to cause a deadly drunk driving crash.
What is the Legal Driving Limit in California?
In California, it’s legal to drive with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08 or less. The legal limit is lower for commercial drivers, taxi, rideshare, and limousine drivers, as well as underage drivers.
But what constitutes drunk driving is not just a numbers game under California DUI law. A person whose driving is noticeably impaired can still be charged with driving under the influence, even if their BAC is not over the legal limit.
Could You Drive After One Drink?
Whether a person can drive after one drink depends on the individual. The alcohol content of the beverage is an important factor. One glass of wine has more than double the alcohol content of the average beer (11.6 percent vs. 4.5 percent). In other words, having one glass of wine could be the equivalent of drinking about two-and-a-half beers, depending on the size and type of the drink.
The size, weight, and metabolism of the drinker also play a role. Larger people tend to be able to drink more. How much he or she has eaten before and while drinking is another. Even uncontrollable factors such as ethnicity can contribute to a person’s tolerance.
In addition, exposure to sun and heat can make a difference. Alcohol is dehydrating, which can be made worse in hot conditions where people are also sweating, such as at the beach.
What to Do If You’ve Been Injured by a Drunk Driver
If you were hurt in a drunk driving car accident in Pasadena, protecting your health and legal rights is essential. You should:
- Seek immediate medical treatment. Drunk driving accidents frequently result in serious and fatal injuries.
- Call law enforcement. A police report documents that a DUI crash occurred, and hopefully, can pull a drunk driver off the road before he or she hurts someone else.
- Collect evidence. If you are able, take photos of the accident scene, exchange information with the impaired driver, get contact information for any witnesses, and take pictures of any evidence of drunkenness, such as open alcohol containers in the car.
- Call a drunk driving accident lawyer. An experienced DUI attorney can build a strong claim for financial compensation against the drunk driver to account for your medical expenses and other losses.
Contact Our Drunk Driving Injury Lawyer
At the Law Offices of Pius Joseph, we know how devastating a drunk driving crash can be. We’re here to fight for the compensation you are owed. Call or contact our Pasadena personal injury law firm now for a free consultation.