Can being a "lightweight" lead to DUI charges?

Back in your college days, you probably knew someone who others often kidded for not being able to handle his or her liquor. People often use the term, "lightweight" while they poke fun at friends who appear to get tipsy without having more than a beer or glass of wine. 

There is no definitive way to predict how alcohol will affect people. What is just the right amount for one person (without being intoxicating, that is) may leave another feeling light-headed or giddy. 

Problems can occur if you consume alcohol, then get behind the wheel of a car to drive. If a police officer stops you, and you mention that you "only had one beer," it doesn't necessarily mean he will be satisfied with your answer and send you on your way. You could wind up in jail.

Understand how alcohol works in the bloodstream

Various physiological factors affect the way your body absorbs and transports alcohol. When making choices regarding alcohol consumption and motor vehicle operation, the following facts can be useful:

  • Alcohol is not technically free flowing in your body. Rather, water transports it throughout your system.
  • Water typically dilutes alcohol.
  • The more you weigh the more water you are likely to have in your body. This means alcohol traveling through your system may be more diluted than it would be in a person of less body weight.
  • The less you weigh, the more concentrated alcohol will remain in your bloodstream. This is the reason people who are smaller in height and weight tend to become intoxicated faster than others who are taller and weigh more.

This is why one person can have minimal amounts of alcohol in his or her body and still be legally intoxicated.

South Carolina law considers a blood-alcohol content of .08 or above to be legally intoxicated for purposes motor vehicle operation. As mentioned earlier, you might assume that all you have to do is explain to a police officer that you had no more than a beer or other single serving of alcohol.

Keep in mind that facing DUI charges does not constitute guilt, because police often make mistakes. Many South Carolina motorists (especially those who requested legal representation as soon police arrested them) have avoided convictions.

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