DUI Wetlab – "2 Beers Officer"

Dahl, Fischer & Wilks, with the help of Xcite Media and Von Feldt & Beatty Investigations conducted a wetlab following a happy hour.  The purpose of the wetlab was to educate people about the “danger” of a harmless after work happy hour – how easily a few drinks can turn into a DUI.  Many participants were surprised to find out they failed roadside tests and the level of their PBT results.

In previous posts, we talked about the roadside tests and PBT’s that were given.  Over the course of about an hour and a half, people did two sets of roadsides and three PBT’s.  As people continued drinking, discussion began about how to beat the tests (to try and beat a DUI).  It might sound boring, but the best way to beat the tests is to be aware of how much you are drinking and over what period of time.

We asked each person to keep track of how much he/she drank and ate so that every time we gave a new test, we knew how much had been consumed.  We quickly realized that everyone estimates their alcohol a little different … usually underestimating.  People reported one rum and coke, but then said it might have been a double.  Or reported one glass of wine, but the glass was closer to 8 oz. than 5 oz.  This is not unlike a real happy hour situation where a person is in charge of monitoring their own alcohol intake.  You might think you had one or two glasses of wine, but you actually had closer to three or four because of the pour.  Or you had two standard size beers, but you had a micro brew with a higher alcohol content than a light beer.

While we hope our participants learned a great deal from the wetlab, we also learned alot about how people can get themselves into DUI trouble following a simple happy hour.  Often their estimates about how much they had to drink were incorrect.  Some people said they felt fine and would have driven home had they been allowed only to learn that they had failed roadside testing and that the PBT result showed a breath alcohol exceeding the legal limit.  Had these people driven home and been contacted by a police officer, they would have been arrested, charged with a DUI and faced possible driver’s license consequences.

Now that you have the background information, our next posts will have specific information about the wetlab results!