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DUI: A few shots of ethanol

Question: I did a lot of work in one of our labs at Georgia Tech. It's just a part-time job that I have while I study chemistry and hopefully get a degree soon. I had a friend of mine who goes to the University of Georgia visit and it was pretty late and no one was in the lab. One of the graduate students was working on a project, but she wasn't there. She was using ethanol for the project and we drank some.

After just a little bit of ethanol, I mean just a few shots each, we were hungry and wanted to get some food. We went to my car and I was driving and all of a sudden I felt super drunk, then super sick. I pulled over and starting vomiting. Then my friend started puking too.

An Atlanta police officer came by and started talking to me. He could tell something was wrong and he arrested me for DUI. He took me to jail and now I need an Sandy Springs DUI lawyer.

Now I'm trying to figure out what happened, how I got so drunk and sick. All I had to drink was that ethanol in the lab at Tech. I beers or gin or vodka or anything like that. Can there be any defense based on the fact that it wasn't real liquor or beer?

M.H. in Dunwoody, GA

Answer: The fact that what you drank was not a commercial beverage like beer, gin or vodka doesn't matter. If you are a less safe driver because of ingestion of any substance or drug, that is considered DUI under the laws of the state of Georgia.

Ethanol can be very potent. Some types of ethanol are 95 – 97% pure alcohol. That will get a person intoxicated very rapidly. Anyone who wants to drink it should certainly dilute it first with a lot of water.

Absolute ethanol is a variety of ethanol that is very close to 100% alcohol. In fact, it is about 200 proof. Of course, just a bit of this can get you very drunk. Watch out because every year there are stories in the media of someone dying because he or she drank too much ethanol.

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