Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

PolitiFact: Proposed DUI standard could mean one drink is too many for some

The statement

A 0.05 standard for drunken driving means having a glass of wine at dinner could make a person drunk.

Tavern League of Wisconsin, in an interview

The ruling

On May 14, a federal agency recommended reducing the threshold for evidence of drunken driving from a blood-alcohol concentration of 0.08 to 0.05.

That means having a glass of wine at dinner might make a person drunk, Scott Stenger, a spokesman for the Tavern League of Wisconsin, told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. He said he based his claim on news articles and a chart from the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission.

The news covered the recommendation by the National Transportation Safety Board that states should cut the current blood-alcohol level for evidence of intoxication as part of a series of ideas aimed at reducing alcohol-related highway deaths.

The Associated Press says 0.05 is "about one drink for a woman weighing less than 120 pounds," and that a drink is defined as 12 ounces of beer, 4 ounces of wine, or 1 ounce of 80-proof alcohol "in most studies."

The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission says its BAC data comes from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. It says essentially what Stenger and AP did: A 100-pound woman could reach 0.05 after one drink.

So, there's evidence that a limited group of drinkers could be legally drunk after one drink, if the standard for drunken driving were reduced to 0.05.

We checked three online calculators that use various factors, including gender and weight. They generally found a BAC of less than 0.05 for a 100-pound woman consuming one drink, though none found the same thing.

So, why the variations? All of the figures are estimates.

The Wisconsin DOT points out that other factors are in play. Your BAC will be higher if you drink faster or drink on an empty stomach. Women reach higher BACs faster because they have less water in their bodies and more adipose tissue (fat).

Jan Grebel, a chemical test supervisor for the DOT, pointed to another factor: If you drink frequently, your liver can break down alcohol more efficiently, but if you don't, your BAC would be higher after even one drink.

We rate this claim Mostly True.

Tom Kertscher, PolitiFact Wisconsin

Edited for print. Read the full version at PolitiFact.com.

PolitiFact: Proposed DUI standard could mean one drink is too many for some 05/21/13 [Last modified: Tuesday, May 21, 2013 8:47pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Dodgers close in on World Series with 6-1 win over Cubs

    Ml

    CHICAGO — Yu Darvish pitched into the seventh inning, Chris Taylor homered again and the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the Chicago Cubs 6-1 on Tuesday night to open a commanding 3-0 lead in the NL Championship Series.

    Los Angeles Dodgers' Chris Taylor hits a home run Tuesday during the third inning of Game 3 of baseball's National League Championship Series against the Chicago Cubs. [Associated Press]
  2. Peter Budaj, Lightning lose to Devils in shootout; Nikita Kucherov scores

    Lightning Strikes

    NEWARK, N.J. — For Peter Budaj, Tuesday's season debut had a shaky start.

    The Lightning’s Vladislav Namestnikov, right, battles Damon Severson for the puck.
  3. Mother's testimony about toddler's death brings judge to tears

    Criminal

    TAMPA — Nayashia Williams woke up early on May 7, 2014, to the sound of her daughter calling for her. It was the last time the young mother's mornings would begin with a summons from Myla Presley, who couldn't yet climb over the mesh fencing around the playpen she used as a bed.

    Deandre Gilmore looks towards the gallery Tuesday in a Tampa courtroom. Gilmore is accused of killing the 19 month-old daughter of his girlfriend in 2014. He said the child fell while he was giving her a bath. [CHRIS URSO   |   Times]
  4. Speakers: Getting tough can't be only response to teen car thefts

    Crime

    ST. PETERSBURG — Bob Dillinger remembers coming to Pinellas County as a legal intern in 1975. There were five major poverty zones in St. Petersburg.

    Wengay Newton, Florida House of Representatives (in front, in center), talks as a panelist to a packed room during a community forum on "Reclaiming our Youth: Is Juvenile Justice a Reality?" at the Dr. Carter G. Woodson Museum in St. Petersburg Wednesday evening (10/17/17). The event was presented by the Fred G. Minnis, Sr. Bar Association. Community leaders discussed the ongoing auto theft epidemic among Pinellas youth.
  5. Internal White House documents allege manufacturing decline increases abortions, infertility and spousal abuse

    Politics

    White House officials working on trade policy were alarmed last month when a top adviser to President Donald Trump circulated a two-page document that alleged a weakened manufacturing sector leads to an increase in abortion, spousal abuse, divorce and infertility, two people familiar with the matter told the …