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How well do you truly know your body's reaction to alcohol?

In our last post, we wrote that Memorial Day weekend is traditionally a period of increased enforcement for police in Wisconsin. In response to high rates of drunk driving, police are out in full force looking to make traffic stops and arrests for operating while intoxicated.

If you drove home after drinking this weekend and managed to avoid an OWI charge, your good legal standing may have been due, in part, to good luck. When it comes to knowing one’s limits and tolerance for alcohol, most drivers have good and responsible intentions. But in many cases, drivers are not able to judge intoxication as accurately as they think they can.

This was the sage advice offered in a recent Huffington Post column written by an attorney who has seen his share of miscalculating drunk driving defendants. Many criminal defense attorneys here in Wisconsin could tell similar stories.

Everyone seemingly has their own rules and truisms regarding the consumption of alcohol. But the fact of the matter is that each person metabolizes alcohol at different rates and responds to alcohol differently. Gender, size and body weight can be general guides to what constitutes safe vs. unsafe consumption but they are not guarantees. In some cases, large men and petite women could respond similarly to the same amount of alcohol. They may have a blood-alcohol level that is over the legal limit even if they don’t “feel” impaired.

At the very least, an OWI charge can be embarrassing, stressful and could even put your job in jeopardy. If convicted, a defendant can face serious fines, loss of license and jail time. Even if you feel fairly confident that you know your limits, please make sure to be cautious when getting behind the wheel – especially during periods of increased OWI enforcement.

Source: The Huffington Post, "DUI: No, We Really Don't Know Ourselves!" Saul Segan, May 16, 2014

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