Alcohol by Volume, or ABV, is the percentage of ethanol present within an alcoholic beverage. The percentage is derived by calculating how many milliliters of ethanol are in 100 milliliters of the beverage at 68 degrees. This standard is used all over the world to determine how much alcohol is in an alcoholic beverage.
How much alcohol is in a beverage will determine how intoxicated a person will become when they have been drinking. If the volume is high, you don’t want to drive after a beverage or two. A person is usually not impaired after a beer or two, but a couple glasses of wine, vodka, brandy, or champagne can put you over the legal blood alcohol concentration (BAC) in your state, which then classifies you as a drunk driver. The smaller a person is, the faster they can become intoxicated. There are many factors that influence how alcohol affects a person.
Understanding alcohol by volume and how it affects BAC can help people make the right decisions when they have been drinking. For instance, a person may feel fine to drive after a couple glasses of wine, but a breathalyzer or blood test may state otherwise. Knowing how certain alcoholic beverages could affect you could keep you from behind the wheel of a car so that DUI can be avoided.
Alcohol Content of Beer and Other Beverages
The following are the average alcohol content of the most popular alcoholic beverages:
• Beer alcohol content – Between 4 percent and 6 percent. For example, Bud Light alcohol content is 4.2 percent.
• Vodka alcohol content – A typical level of 40 percent, but can be as much as 50 percent. European Union vodka has an average alcohol volume of 37.5 percent.
• Brandy – An average of 4 percent, but can be as low as 35 percent and as high as 60 percent.
• Wine coolers – Wine coolers have an average alcohol volume of between 3.5 percent and 5 percent.
• Wine – An average alcohol volume between 11.5 percent and 13.5 percent.
• Champagne – An average alcohol percentage of between 11.5 percent and 12.5 percent.
Keep these percentages in mind because this information could prevent you from making a bad decision. If you have already been accused of drunk driving, this may explain why a breath test showed you over the legal alcohol limit. It’s important that you have all the details and understand the reasoning behind charges so you can make sound decisions that influence the outcome of your case.
Using an Alcohol Calculator
If you’re ever in doubt, you could use a calculator that guesses the concentration of alcohol in your blood. While not 100% because many factors can go into a high BAC, it’s helpful in helping you determine what your BAC could be after drinking a certain amount of a beverage. To get your possible BAC, this calculator takes into consideration what you’ve been drinking, how much you’ve been drinking, your weight, and whether you’ve had food.
These calculators are available online or you can download a calculator from your phone’s app store. Many of them are free. Just keep in mind that this is not to be relied upon. These calculators aren’t aware of the fact your physiology could cause you to process alcohol differently than someone of similar size.
When You’re Caught Driving Under the Influence
A DUI is devastating because it could potentially result in a criminal record that can impact the rest of your life. When pulled over, it is important to cooperate and say nothing. The words “Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law” are used when being read your Miranda Rights for a reason. They mean that anything you say, even innocent things, could be misconstrued and used against you.
If you have already been through this process, you know what is being referred to here. If you are the friend or family member of someone who has been arrested for DUI, you want to advise them to say nothing else and call a DUI attorney as soon as possible.
The attorney will advise on what to say and what not to say and ensure rights are protected. Believe it or not, rights violations happen during DUI arrests. Perhaps Miranda Rights aren’t read or the stop happened without probable cause. There are different elements that can be challenged by an experienced defense lawyer.
Even if the BAC blown in the breath test is .08 percent or above, the validity can be challenged. The attorney may look at the device used and the accuracy of that device. There are breathalyzer devices that are used by law enforcement agencies around the country that have been successfully challenged in court.
These devices have been challenged because they have been known to give false readings. Perhaps the same person blew a different number twice or the blood test that was taken within two hours after the offense showed an unusually fast drop in the concentration of alcohol in the blood when compared to the breath test result.
There are many possibilities and the criminal attorney will leave no stone unturned when determining what occurred. If there was the slightest deviation from the legal arrest process, the process can be challenged. If results are believed to be faulty, an aggressive argument will be made.
How Alcohol Volume Can Affect Consequences
Once the charge is in place, your attorney has a job to do and that is to secure the best outcome for you. Even when there is merit to the charge, the maximum penalties may not be warranted. You have an advocate in your corner who wants to see you move on with your life in the most productive way possible.
As for how alcohol volume could help determine your future, the amount of alcohol in the beverage leads to the concentration of alcohol in your blood. In most, if not all, states, you are over the legal limit of the alcohol concentration is .08 or above. When you start approaching .16 or .20, the DUI offense can be enhanced. This means what could be a typical first-time misdemeanor offense could become a gross misdemeanor or even a felony. How many aggravating factors are present at the time can determine how enhanced the offense becomes. This shows what kind of role alcohol by volume in an alcoholic beverage plays when pulled over for DUI.
You Have Friends in Your Corner
When charged with DUI, you don’t have to face it alone. When you have a competent attorney on your side, there is a chance. You also have resources. At duiwise.com, we want to be a part of the equation that gives you peace of mind. We inform you of what is happening, but also connect you with resources that could potentially put you on the path to the future that you need to have.
Just because you have been accused of DUI doesn’t mean that you are doomed to prison or a future that is riddled with rejections because of a criminal record. There are times when DUI offenses are reduced to minor traffic offenses, especially when it’s a first-time DUI. There are also times when the charges are completely dismissed because there wasn’t probable cause for the stop or another violation occurred during the arrest process.
Don’t ever believe that you have to accept the charges against you when there is hope. Even if you drank brandy that had 60 percent alcohol and got behind the wheel of a car because your BAC calculator app said you were ok to drive, there is hope. Accepting the charges simply gives the prosecution the opportunity to have you slapped with the maximum penalties. The maximum penalties aren’t always warranted, which is why it is worthwhile to seek answers and to find an attorney who will put up an aggressive fight against the charges.