While states like Virginia set 0.08 blood alcohol content as the level for determinations as to whether one can be found legally intoxicated, alcohol affects every driver differently. One study suggested that a single bottle of beer or glass of wine could result in impairment of individuals over the age of 55.
In the study 72 subjects of various ages were tested concerning the effects of alcohol drinking. While a single alcoholic beverage did not result in any of the members having their blood alcohol level raised to over 0.08, the driving skills of older individuals did seem to be impaired. Such a study suggests that even lower amounts of alcohol can affect the skills of these older adults. At the same time drinking less than one drink for younger individuals did not appear to have an impact upon their driving skills.
No one is saying that younger people should assume based upon this study that drinking will not influence the manner in which they drive. Still, there are many other factors that can determine whether impairment could result outside of how much alcohol is consumed. For example, how much they have had to eat, the types of medications they take, how the body reacts to alcohol or the age of the drinker could contribute to individual differences.
All matters where an alleged DUI has taken place are unique and revolve around very specific facts. As DUI defense attorneys, we look at each individual circumstance including physical factors, the manner in which the arrest was conducted, how field sobriety tests were administered, or how a breath or blood test was conducted.
Source: HealthDay, “Older Drivers May Be Vulnerable to Just One Drink,” Mary Brophy Marcus, March 20, 2014