One Drink Per Hour Rule

There are a number of preventative measures that a person can take to ensure that they remain sober enough to drive.  Some are pure myth and some help but are not foolproof. One such strategy that people often use is the “One Drink Per Hour Rule.”

I have had several clients follow this “rule” only to get popped for DUI on their way home from the bar. They throw up their arms and ask why the so called rule didn’t work. Unfortunately, the “rule,” although it may help in staying under 0.08 percent threshold, is not a sure-fire way to prevent a DUI.

The “rule” was likely derived from the general principle that the body should absorb and eliminate one drink per hour. This, however, is a generalization. In fact, there are a number of factors that go into how fast a body absorbs and eliminates alcohol. Such factors include gender, weight, consumption of food, consumption of non-alcoholic beverages, and the types of alcohol consumed.

Other lesser known variables will also increase absorption of alcohol. Both caffeine and carbonation increase absorption of alcohol making energy drinks particularly dangerous. Some medications increase the rate of absorption, which is why many warning labels caution against mixing the drug with alcohol (this is in addition to any intoxicating effects the medication itself may cause).  Recent gastric bypass surgery may also increase absorption of alcohol.

Before employing any method believed to ensure sobriety, remember that the only “rule” guaranteed to prevent a DUI is to not drink at all.

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One Response to One Drink Per Hour Rule

  1. Firk Hugh says:


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