DUI Wetlab Results – Participant 3

We have been posting results from our non-scientific wetlab and have some more to share with you today.  As a reminder, the wetlab was non-scientific because the participants were responsible for monitoring and accurately reporting their own alcohol consumption and food intake, we did not use a calibrated PBT and we did not conduct the roadsides on the side of the road as would be the case in an actual DUI investigation.  But, the results were interesting and will hopefully, help people to be aware of the possible risk of driving home after happy hour.

Participant 3 is a 35 year old male.  He is 5’11” and weighs 173 lbs.  Before the happy hour, he had eaten beef and broccoli.  He told us he drinks about 3 times a week and drinks about 3-5 drinks per sitting.  Before he ate or drank anything at the happy hour, he successfully completed roadside tests, showing no clues on any of the tests.

After 30 minutes, this participant had two glasses of wine and his PBT result was a .06.  He had not eaten any food yet at this point and felt like he was fine to drive.  While his PBT result was low and below the legal limit for a DUI, his result was still too high to safely drive home.  In Colorado, if your BAC is between a 0.05 and 0.08, you may be guilty of a DWAI.  There is a presumption under the law that if your BAC is in this range, you are impaired.  At 60 minutes, this participant had drank an additional gin and tonic.  His PBT result was .09 and he failed the roadside tests.  He showed 3 out of 6 clues on the horizontal gaze nystagmus, 1 out of 8 clues on the walk and turn and 0 out of 4 clues on the one leg stand.  These results are technically a fail even though they are not all that bad.  The test that would have likely caused this participant to be arrested was the result on the horizontal gaze nystagmus test.  His other results are passing.  At 90 minutes, this participant had drank an additional double gin and tonic and shot of fireball.  His PBT was .168.  At this point, he definitely did not feel safe to drive home.

This participant made the comment that he would never drive home after doing shots of any kind.  This comment led others to start talking about different types of alcohol and their perceived tolerance level.  For many people, they know that different types of alcohol impact them differently.  For example, the beer that was served was a type of beer with a higher alcohol content.  Many participants commented that they would not drive after having even one of these beers.