Dahl, Fischer & Wilks, Xcite Media and VonFeldt & Beatty Investigations asked for volunteers to participate in a wetlab. We tried to simulate a typical office happy hour and then asked our volunteers to submit to some testing to find out if they would be safe to drive home. While the results for every person were different, if any of our volunteers had driven home after the happy hour, they would have been guilty of a DUI.
Participant 5 is a 37 year old female. She is 5’6″ tall and weighs 132 lbs. This volunteer told us she drinks approximately three times per week and drinks approximately 3-5 drinks per sitting. Earlier in the day, she had eaten a protein bar, a chai tea latte, some french onion soup and some cheese. Like the others, she performed roadside maneuvers before the happy hour. And, like everyone else, she passed the roadside tests.
In the first 30 minutes, she drank one beer, but ate no food. Her PBT result was .119. After 60 minutes, she had drank another beer and a half, but ate some food. Her PBT result was .100. She took another set of roadsides, but failed them this time. She showed 2 out of 6 clues on the horizontal gaze nystagmus test, 3 out of 8 clues on the walk and turn test and 1 out of 4 clues on the one leg stand. After 90 minutes, she finished the other half of her beer, so she had drank a total of 3 beers. Her PBT result was .241.
Similar to our last set of results, this set of results also made us realize that we should have asked people exactly when they drank during the time interval. It does not seem like her PBT result should have dropped in between the 30 and 60 minute mark because she had more to drink. On the other hand, she did not eat anything during the first 30 minute period, but she did during the second. And it is possible that the first reading was artificially high – she may have had a sip of beer just before taking the PBT.
The other interesting result is the PBT taken at 90 minutes. This participant only told us she had another half a beer in between the 60 minute and 90 minute mark, but her PBT result more than doubled. It should not surprise you to learn that a person’s BAC level can rise over the course of time just like it can fall over the course of time. Perhaps the timing of this participant’s drinking and eating resulted in the alcohol not showing up until 90 minutes into the happy hour.