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Watching what you drink may not avoid drunk driving charges

There are many people in Menomonie who are very careful about what they drink. They know just how serious a drunk driving conviction can be and so they avoid the risk altogether by only having one or two drinks when out with friends. The problem is, however, that drinks keep getting stronger, but they aren't getting smaller. It is possible that someone's drink could be 50 percent more potent than what he or she thought.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture recommends that men should have no more than two drinks a day and women only one. This generally means a 5 ounce glass of wine, but only wine that is 12 percent alcohol. It is increasingly common, however, to have wines at 14 or 15 percent alcohol. Combine that with the fact that most restaurants pour a little more than 6 ounces of wine for customers, and someone could be getting a drink with 50 percent more alcohol than he or she originally planned for.

It would not be surprising to learn that this has had a very serious impact on drunk driving in Wisconsin. People who honestly thought they were being responsible could actually be driving above the 0.08 blood alcohol limit. Individuals who were trying to avoid any criminal punishments could be facing a criminal record, a fine, possible time in jail and the loss of a driver's license.

Should someone be charged with drunk driving, or operating while intoxicated as it is called in Wisconsin, it is important to consult a criminal defense attorney. It is possible that charges can be dropped or lowered. This could mean that many of the negative consequences of a drunk driving conviction could be avoided, especially for those individuals who thought they were being responsible drinkers.

Source: HealthDay, "How Much Alcohol Is In Your Drink? Stronger Beverages Make It Tough to Tell," Brenda Goodman, Oct. 15, 2013

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