You try not to have too many drinks at the bar, sticking to a firm two-drink rule. You want to be able to drive home safely. You know that two drinks shouldn't impair your ability to drive, based on your size and the time it takes you to drink them.
Unfortunately, you may be getting a lot more than two drinks without even realizing it. There are three main reasons why this happens:
- Beer is often more than 4 or 5 percent alcohol. Craft beers may be 8, 9 or 10 percent -- or even more. If you assume two beers equals two drinks, but they're both 10 percent alcohol instead of 4 percent like a standard drink, you are actually consuming at least four drinks, and you're edging in on five.
- Wine glasses keep getting bigger. In the 1700s, they were around 2 ounces. They have increased dramatically, with a big shift in the 1990s. As of 2017, one study found that many new ones can hold more than 15 ounces. How many drinks are you really getting?
- Bartenders do not always measure drinks. They just eyeball it and poor in some liquor straight from the bottle. It makes the presentation look "cool" and image is important. However, that also means you do not know exactly how many shots wind up in a rum and coke or a gin and tonic.
As you can see, you may try to stick to your two-drink rule, but you could still wind up with a higher blood alcohol concentration (BAC) than you wanted. If this leads to DUI charges, make sure you know your legal options.