Can a Person Get a DUI After Only Having Two Drinks?

Posted by Richard Lawson | Dec 10, 2016 | 0 Comments

You can get a DUI after only have two drinks, depending on what you were drinking.

The problem people get into is that what is served in a glass at a bar, restaurant, or a gathering is not necessarily a “drink” insofar as quantity and alcohol concentration is concerned.  

The Math:

When considering how much you had to drink, "one drink" is one 12-ounce American Beer, one 5-ounce glass of wine, or one shot of hard liquor.

High Gravity Beer:

Not all beer has the same alcohol concentration.  Many imported beers have more alcohol than a traditional American beer.  Many craft brews also have more alcohol.  Additionally, a 16-ounce pint is 25% more beer than a 12 ounce can. 

Most traditional beers have an alcohol concentration of 4% to 5%.  If you are consuming high gravity beer, do the math.  For example, if the beer has an 8.5% alcohol concentration, you are consuming 66% more alcohol.   

If you do not like math, consider that each high gravity beer is the equivalent of at least one and a half "beers."  A better idea is to consider each high gravity beer as two "beers."


When drinking wine at a restaurant, look at the size of the pour.  If the poor is more than half of a small glass, you are drinking more than one "glass of wine."

A bottle of wine is 750 ml or about 25 ounces.  As a result, it's about 5 glasses of wine.  Again, this is simple math.  Be careful!

Mixed Drinks:

There is no way to know how many shots are in a mixed drink unless you prepared it yourself.  Thus, it is my opinion that you cannot safely drive after consuming even one mixed drink.  There is too much unknown.

I have spoken to bartenders that tell me, for example, that one Long Island Ice Tea can have as much as five shots in it.  As a result, a person that has just “two drinks,” may have had as much as ten alcohol beverages. 

Moral of the Story:

My point is that how much a person has had to drink is not the number of beverages he or she has consumed.  How much a person has had to drinks is a math problem.  Err on the side of caution.  If you have been drinking do not drive.  Today, there are so many better options.  If you make a mistake and are charged with a DUI, we offer the Best Georgia DUI Defense

About the Author

Richard Lawson

Managing Partner at Lawson & Berry:


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