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Old 01-08-2014, 03:28 PM
 
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I was thrilled to get a little breathalyzer for Christmas. I very rarely drive after drinking, unless I've only had maybe one drink, and I've waiting a decent amount of time (I'm "old" now--we will not discuss my 20s, but let's just say I was very lucky). But I drink wine at home several nights a week, and never really feel drunk or even "buzzed." So I wondered if I'm ever at an illegal level when I drink wine at home.

I've been using the little breathalyzer for a couple weeks, and here's what I learned:

I usually have two glasses of wine in a night, about a half bottle. But I drink this amount over the course of about 3-4 hours, maybe 7:30-11pm. I brush my teeth and wait the standard 20 minutes after I finish drinking, and I'm always .02. So I suppose I could legally drive on a standard night of wine-drinking. Who knew? Next time I visit my sister, I won't have to forgo wine just because I have to drive home later!

Sometimes I drink more wine. If I drink a whole bottle in one night, I do feel buzzed, but a whole bottle is pretty rare for me. But sometimes I drink almost a bottle, maybe a "bottle minus a glass." But even on those nights, I never went over .03.

It's weird, because in all the literature about drinking and driving, they say that the average woman my size would be drunk, or at least unable to legally drive, after only 1-2 drinks! I wonder if those charts & tables are all bunk. I know the intent is good--to dissuade people from driving drunk--but I think much of that info is exaggerated, at least according to my own experimental evidence. My "glass" of wine is also much larger than the 3 or 5 ounce glass of wine the charts always use. (Who the hell drinks 4 ounces of wine anyway?)

I wonder if it's the time period that matters more. I'm sure if I drank a half-bottle of wine in 30 minutes on an empty stomach I'd be sloshed and my BAL would be very high. (I'll try that in a future experiment ). But over the course of 3 hours, and usually with food, that half bottle of wine makes my BAL negligible. Again, I'm now in my 40s, and I no longer "do shots" or "pound" drinks like in my 20s. So it seems to me that when you're out and drinking, just do it over a longer period of time, and make sure you've had dinner.


Has anyone else self-tested their blood alcohol level with a home breathalyzer, with different amounts of alcohol? What did you learn?
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Old 01-08-2014, 03:47 PM
 
Location: SE Michigan
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I'm curious, where did your home breathalyzer test come from? (I know I could google but figured you'd know.)

I'm pretty paranoid about drinking and driving so I put basically a one-drink-at-most limit on myself if I am driving anywhere. But I think it would be interesting to see what my real limit was!
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Old 01-08-2014, 03:51 PM
 
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Brookstone, I think. But I see them in lots of catalogs, like Sharper Image and stores like that.
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Old 01-08-2014, 06:13 PM
MJ7
 
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You have to realize the only thing that counteracts booze is the TIME it takes to process through your system. If you drink over a lengthy period of time it isn't all that bad. HOWEVER, DUIs and DWIs should not be flirted with at all. They can really destroy someone's life. Job, criminal history, 10k, embarrassment....just to name a few. If you plan on going out to drink just pay the 14$ cab fair, it's just never worth it to drink and drive, even after one.
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Old 01-08-2014, 06:24 PM
 
Location: SE Michigan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MJ7 View Post
You have to realize the only thing that counteracts booze is the TIME it takes to process through your system. If you drink over a lengthy period of time it isn't all that bad. HOWEVER, DUIs and DWIs should not be flirted with at all. They can really destroy someone's life. Job, criminal history, 10k, embarrassment....just to name a few. If you plan on going out to drink just pay the 14$ cab fair, it's just never worth it to drink and drive, even after one.
Yeah I think bottom line, this is the safest strategy. (Note that I am in my 50's; in my 20s I would have responded differently!)

The legal, financial and practical ramifications of a single DUI can mess one up for life. While academically, it would be interesting to know how many glasses of wine would put me at 0.8%, it's really nothing I want to put to the test in real life.
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Old 01-08-2014, 06:35 PM
MJ7
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chiroptera View Post
Yeah I think bottom line, this is the safest strategy. (Note that I am in my 50's; in my 20s I would have responded differently!)

The legal, financial and practical ramifications of a single DUI can mess one up for life. While academically, it would be interesting to know how many glasses of wine would put me at 0.8%, it's really nothing I want to put to the test in real life.
Agreed, I'm in my 20s...I use to be careless.

It would be interesting to see that breathalyzer vs. one of the police breathalyzers (not a field one either, the big box they have at the station).

Last edited by MJ7; 01-08-2014 at 06:54 PM..
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Old 01-08-2014, 07:55 PM
 
Location: SE Michigan
6,191 posts, read 15,298,480 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MJ7 View Post
Agreed, I'm in my 20s...I use to be careless.

It would be interesting to see that breathalyzer vs. one of the police breathalyzers (not a field one either, the big box they have at the station).
Yeah well I've never had to be breathalyzed (although for sure there some times in my youth I should have been) so I've thankfully not had that experience. I've had a couple of friends who've had DUIs though and it was lengthy, expensive and one couldn't drive for a year, the other for several months. Plus with a DUI as I understand you can't ever cross the border into Canada.

Not meaning to sound preachy I guess! But it's just no small matter these days having a DUI. Nothing to mess with.
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Old 01-08-2014, 11:10 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles County, CA
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The charts are promoted by MADD.

They have an agenda.

There ought to be a counter lobby.

Call it DAMADD - Drivers Against MADD.
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Old 01-09-2014, 07:19 AM
 
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I saw a breathalyzer at Costco. I can see these becoming an interesting issue, if someone self tests then gets pulled over.

More interesting, TraceySam. ...why someone gave you a breathalyzer for Christmas. ..
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Old 01-09-2014, 02:56 PM
 
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That's really interesting. Your wine drinking is on par with mine, as is our age. I never drive after having anything to drink either.
You know, now that I think about it, we DID get pulled over once on a routine clamp down or whatever you call it. And even though we had been at a company Christmas party with an open bar and we thought we were screwed, neither ONE of us was over the legal limit!! And we'd had two beers each AFTER dinner!
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