Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Light beer doesn't register

I've never taken a breathalyzer test, but I've always counted my drinks (factoring in that a Long Island Iced Tea or a martini is actually more like two or three drinks, depending on how much the bartender likes you.) I know how I feel after three drinks in three hours, and there's no way in hell I'd get behind the wheel. I'm not drunk; I might even be below the legal limit; like I said, I've never measured my BAC. But I feel warm, relaxed and overly friendly, which means my reaction time is almost certainly slowed. My rule of thumb is, if I'm going to be driving, I have one drink max, and even that only if I have at least an hour before I have to get behind the wheel. It's simple, it gives me a margin for error, and it's not so strict that I'm ever tempted to break it.
Bryan, I'm sure you know this, but I just wanted to clarify for anyone else out there reading: weight does not affect how quickly you metabolize alcohol, nor do any other factors besides medication that gives your liver extra work. If you eat before or while you drink, the booze will take longer to make its way through your digestive system, which will slow the rate at which it hits your bloodstream. But you will still metabolize it at the same rate. If you are very tall and/or muscular (fat doesn't seem to have this effect) you may have slightly more blood in which the alcohol can spread out. But you will still metabolize it at the same rate. If you are on any of various medications that indicate possible interaction with alcohol, you should probably avoid drinking any alcohol on the nights you drive, or vice versa, until you're sure you know how it affects you.

Esprise "TIPS, Serv-Safe, and Bar Code certified, and I teach the alcohol awareness course at my restaurant, so I'm a bit pedantic" Me

"Don't get me wrong, it's not a very slippery slope. It's a slope with only a very minor grade, probably flat to the naked eye and which one would need some high quality surveyor's equipment to determine drainage and there's plenty of ways to reroute the flow to greener pastures and such, but a slope toward a bad place nonetheless." -Joe Bentley

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