Not all drinks are created equal. It used to be that adults could make educated decisions about their levels of intoxication by understanding that 12 ounces of beer is equal in terms of alcoholic strength to five ounces of wine or a fairly standard 1.5 ounce shot of hard alcohol. However, this rule of thumb is no longer terribly reliable.
Most adults are very responsible when it comes to drinking and driving. A staggering number of drunk driving offenders truly believed themselves to be legally sober when they got behind the wheel. But because alcohol metabolizes differently under different circumstances, the only way adults can ensure that they do not drive drunk is to abstain from drinking, to avoid driving or to allow a long time to pass after drinking relatively little before getting behind the wheel.
One of the reasons for this frustrating reality is that many drinks have become stronger over the past few years. For a number of reasons, many beer and wine manufacturers have increased the alcohol content levels in their products. As a result, some 12 ounce glasses of beer and five ounce glasses of wine are stronger than a standard drink.
As a result, it is important to both monitor your alcohol intake before driving and to also understand the strength of the drinks you are imbibing. By understanding these two factors, you will place yourself in a better position to make an educated choice about whether you are safe to drive legally or not.
Source: HealthDay, “How Much Alcohol In Your Drink? Stronger Beverages Make It Tough to Tell,” Brenda Goodman, Oct. 15, 2013