DUI DWI: International Referral
The International Drinking and Driving Debate
The debate for February 2003:
Should people abstain from drinking wine if they need to drive home?
Should wine producers bear special responsibility to place warning labels on their bottles (and boxes) to suggest that it is very dangerous to drink wine at a restaurant, wine bar, or residence?
What do you think? Is wine different from beer and liquor?
Please note that the comments in this debate are not legal advice on what you should do. The law is different among the United States, Canada, and other jurisdictions. Please make sure you get proper advice from a local lawyer.
As a criminal defence lawyer, I always ask new clients what they had to drink and what quantity. Beer drinkers can usually tell me a specific number of beer bottles or glasses of draft. They can tell me or we can find out the exact size of the bottle and the alcohol content. Liquor drinkers (if purchased at a bar or self-measured) can tell me how many shots they had and the size and alcohol content of the shots. Wine drinkers, however, can usually only say that they shared a bottle or bottles of wine. At a restaurant or home their glasses may have been refilled without them noticing. They and their drinking partners may have shared equally or unequally. People usually don't know the exact measure of the wine glass. More than one bottle and more than one brand (with different alcohol % volumes) may have been poured. The net result is that if a breath machine is used and is inaccurate, one cannot easily contradict the breath machine through a toxicologist (Canadian "evidence to the contrary") if you've been drinking wine. It's also more difficult to convince the officer at the RIDE program as to how much you've had. If you're likely to get stopped at a RIDE program don't drink wine. If you're going to get charged with drinking and driving I hope you haven't been drinking wine.
Your comments about whether or not to drink wine seems asinine to me. I would like to see some stats of how many people get into accidents who have consumed wine as opposed to the number who have been drinking beer.
They should abstain, if and only if, they believe they would personally benefit because of abstaining. They should not be forced or coerced to do it from fear of legal retaliation through laws of prohibition for alcohol.
A warning label should only indicate the harmful effects of the product, not attempt to socially engineer people. It is not dangerous to drink alcohol in a public place or even a private residence. However alcohol at certain levels begins inhibiting a variety of motor skills and neurological abilities regardless of where it is consumed.
Wine, beer, liquor, moonshine, mouthwash, cough syrup, vitals, aqua Velva, vanilla extract, whatever it's alcohol. Is it not the same?
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