If you have been following our blog the last couple of weeks, you know that we conducted a wetlab at a happy hour. We had volunteers participate in a typical happy hour and then asked them to take PBT’s and roadside tests.
Participant 2 is a 25 year old male. He is 6’1″ and weighs 220 lbs. During the day, before the happy hour, he ate a hot dog, a small portion of casserole and a cup of orange juice. He indicated he drinks some alcohol daily. In an average sitting he has 3-5 drinks.
Before eating or drinking anything at the happy hour, Participant 2 did roadside tests. He “passed” all of the tests. Remember, the officer will look for “clues” when you perform the tests. The number of clues the officer observes determines whether you pass or fail these tests. In Participant 1’s case, he showed no clues on any of the three roadside tests. Once he started drinking and eating, we had him do PBT’s and perform another set of roadside tests at various intervals of time.
At 30 minutes, his PBT result was a .139 after he had drank two rum and coke and ate some food. At 60 minutes, after drinking an additional rum and coke, he performed roadside tests again. This time, he “failed” the tests. He showed 2 out of 6 clues on the horizontal gaze nystagmus test, 1 out of 8 clues on the walk and turn test and 2 out of 4 clues on the one leg stand test. Before getting the results, we asked him whether he thought he would be safe to drive and he thought he was safe to drive. For many participants this was the case. Fortunately for our participants, by volunteering they were prohibited from driving after the happy hour regardless of their performance on the tests.
Happy hour drinkers are not generally lucky enough to have another person monitoring their alcohol and food consumption and almost certainly are not fortunate enough to have a PBT to test themselves before they make the decision to drive home. Had Participant 2 driven home after the 60 minute mark and been investigated for a DUI, our “officer” would have arrested him for DUI.