One Beer per Hour Rule May Still Result in a DUI

It is a common misconception that drinking only one beer per hour will keep an individual within the legal limit to avoid a DUI. Regardless of what online blood alcohol concentration (BAC)
calculators tell you, they cannot honestly predict how a person’s body will react to one beer or glass or wine, thus incorrectly predicting their blood alcohol concentration and putting them at risk for DUI charges.

Photo by: Patrik Kristian

Photo by: Patrik Kristian

BAC calculator or “drink wheel”

There are several sites online where a person can enter their gender, height, weight, and drinks consumed resulting in a predicted blood alcohol concentration percentage. Unfortunately, many people trust these calculators and are surprised when they still end up with a DUI.

Other factors to include

Beyond gender, height, weight, and number/types of drinks consumed, there are several other aspects that can play a part in affecting blood alcohol concentration. These include:

With or without food. When someone drinks on an empty stomach they usually feel drunk right away. This is because there is nothing in the stomach to slow the absorption of alcohol so it isimmediately absorbed into the stomach lining. Drinking with a full stomach results in a slower absorption of alcohol, causing a person to feel the effects of drinking gradually. By slowing down the absorption rate however, BAC levels are also decreased slower, remaining elevated longer than expected.

Photo by: brando.n

Photo by: brando.n

Fat or muscle. When entering a person’s weight in a BAC calculator, it should also include body fat percentage. Someone who has higher muscle content will be able to absorb the alcohol swifter than someone with high body fat due to the lack of water in the fat cells. Thus, someone with high body fat may be more likely to get a DUI if they trust a BAC calculator to determine their BAC levels.

Alcohol metabolism rate. According to the U.S. Department of Health, alcohol metabolism is “the way in which alcohol is broken down and eliminated by the body.” Everyone is different and we all metabolize alcohol at different rates depending on our level of enzymes that break down alcohol. BAC calculators work on averages only and shouldn’t be trusted to know everyone’s exact rate of metabolizing alcohol.

Don’t chance a DUI

DUI Breathalyzer

Photo by: KOMUnews

Due all the different factors that could affect the way alcohol is metabolized in the body, it is recommended to not take chances of incurring DUI charges by trusting anything other than a breathalyzer. If you drink-phone a friend, call a cab, or sleep it off. If you are already facing DUI charges, contact a criminal defense attorney immediately.

Saratoga Springs Bus Driver Arrested For Possible DUI

A bus driver transporting special needs children in Saratoga Springs Utah was arrested last week for a possible DUI.

DUI or unsure footing?

DUI

Photo by: ThoseGuys119

52 year old Sherry Lund was transporting a small group of special needs kids from an Alpine School District elementary when a parent noticed her stumble getting a child off the bus. Allegedly, Lund did not recover immediately from her fall and stayed on the ground while the parent called police. By the time officers arrived, Lund had reentered the bus and left.

No breathalyzer test reported

When officers located Lund, they detected the smell of alcohol. No information has been given regarding whether or not she was given a breathalyzer, however Lund supposedly failed a field sobriety test. Lund, who has served as a bus driver for two decades, was placed on administrative leave and arrested for a possible DUI.

Field sobriety test

Field Sobriety Test

Photo by: Jeffrey Smith

More information may come to light during the investigation of Lund’s supposed DUI; however as of now her arrest is said to be based off of the alcohol smell and a failed field sobriety test. Field sobriety tests such as walking a straight line or saying the ABC’s backwards have been under scrutiny lately with experts stating that the tests may produce a false DUI. This can be due to an innocent mistake either by the arresting officer or the individual suspected of a DUI.

Wait for a legitimate test

Photo by: KOMOnews

Photo by: KOMOnews

When a DUI is suspected, waiting for a legitimate test such as a breathalyzer or a blood or urine test is encouraged. No one is legally required to participate in a field sobriety test and with their high fail rate, they are more than likely a waste of time. If a test of breath, blood, or urine does confirm an alcohol limit over what is legally allowed, a criminal defense attorney is recommended.

Automobile Homicide

A 14 year old Taylorsville teenager was struck and killed by a car on Halloween night and it is not believed that the driver will face charges of automobile homicide.

Trick or treating nightmare

Photo by: _zhang

Photo by: _zhang

The 14 year old teenage girl was out trick or treating with a group of friends when she entered a crosswalk located on 2700 West just north of Bennion Junior High School in Taylorsville, Utah. As she began crossing the road, a van driven by an adult woman struck and killed her.

Accident versus being negligent

It is improbable that drivers who cause the death of a pedestrian for reasons such as poor visibility due to a dark costume (which may have been the case here) will face charges of automobile homicide. According to Utah Code 76-5-207 and 76-5-207.5, there are two circumstances in which a driver may be charged with automobile homicide following a fatal auto-pedestrian accident, such as:

• If the driver is distracted by a cell phone or other hand-held device or

• If the driver is under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

While an investigation is still pending, it doesn’t appear that the driver was impaired in any way and thus she will likely be spared automobile homicide charges for the death of the 14 year old girl.

Criminally negligent

Photo by: Lord Jim

Photo by: Lord Jim

If a driver is found to have been driving while intoxicated or on their phone when an accident occurs, they could face a 3rd degree felony for automobile homicide. That charge would increase to a 2nd degree felony if the driver is perceived as being criminally negligent. Utah Code 76-2-102 defines being criminally negligent as deliberately causing the accident, “recklessly with respect to circumstances […]”, or if the driver should have known that their actions could cause the accident to occur. If a driver is ever facing automobile homicide, it is vital to seek experienced, professional counsel to avoid up to 15 years in prison that can come from a 2nd degree felony.