For many people, it can be very difficult to know exactly how much alcohol is too much when they get behind the wheel. Many people feel that having one beer before getting on the road is legal, but having eight is not. Somewhere in between, then is the breaking point between a legal driver and a DWI.
Specifically, the legal limit for drunk driving is .08. However, the amount of alcohol it takes to reach that limit is different for everyone, and it varies by a number of factors. Most particularly, body weight - a larger person can drink more before reaching the legal limit while it takes less for a smaller person.
This means some drivers can be surprised when they find themselves over the legal limit after a just a couple of drinks. One North Carolina woman living near Charlotte, for example, was recently given a DWI as she was driving to the county jail to bail out her friends.
She didn't realize she was over the legal limit - in fact, she had only had three beers that day, and nothing for an hour and a half before getting behind the wheel. However, when she was pulled over for speeding, the officer allegedly smelled alcohol on her breath. A Breathalyzer test revealed a blood-alcohol level of .11.
The woman describes herself as small - around 100 pounds - and noted that she hadn't eaten dinner that day. She says the DWI charge, which was her third of the year, has taught her a lesson. She says she's thankful no one was hurt, and noted that she now plans to give up alcohol for good.
Despite the woman's remorse and good intentions, she may still be facing serious penalties for her actions. Drunk driving charges carry significant consequences, particularly when one has accrued several in a short period of time. Suspended license, fines and even jail time are common punishments.
Source: The Gaston Gazette, "Woman gets third DWI while on way to bail friends out of jail" Kevin Ellis, Nov. 15, 2013