What Are High Gravity Beers?
With the rise in popularity of craft beers it is important to note that many (not all) have higher alcohol content than something like Budwieser. While something like Budwiser has 4.2%, a craft beer can go infinitely higher. These beers are known as "High Gravity Beers" and come from "High Gravity Brewing" which essentially means these beers were produced with a high alcohol percentage in mind.
While it may taste better, or even taste just as a normal beer would, these can raise your blood alcohol levels above save driving levels. It is important to ALWAYS look at the alcohol by volume (ABV) to ensure you are not consuming more alcohol than would be safe when intending to drive.
Need more information about high gravity beers and DUIs? Look below for questions from actual clients or contact us today to speak with our experienced attorneys.
High Gravity Beer DUI Questions & Answers
Question: I was drinking high gravity beer and I was wondering if I could use that as a defense. Since I rarely drink high gravity beer (almost never, really), I didn’t realize I was getting so drunk and I was thinking that maybe the prosecutor might give me a break because of that. If I had been drinking my regular beers, like Budweiser and Miller (my favorites), I wouldn’t have been so drunk and I wouldn’t have gotten a DUI.
Because I’m pregnant, I know I shouldn’t have been drinking at all. But I wanted to do some stress relief, my boyfriend’s a jerk, and I’ve given up smoking pot. I was out with some girlfriends and we went to a bar with a lot of beers. My friend was buying me drinks to celebrate my pregnancy and she kept buying me high gravity beers. After several, I stopped drinking.
Since my friends were all buzzed and drunk, I said I’d drive everyone home. The girl who was our designated driver had to leave early by Uber because she was having abdominal cramps really bad.
We didn’t drive too far when I noticed blue lights and a cop behind me. I thought he was trying to pass me so I pulled to the side but I noticed he was still behind me. The cop came over, asked me for my driver’s license and immediately asked if I’d been drinking. I said I had one and that I was just celebrating my pregnancy. He kind of got a little angry and said I shouldn’t drink if I was pregnant. From then on, things got even worse.
When I got out of the car I stumbled, but not from a buzz. I was wearing high heels by Manolo Blahnik (my favorite) and I just stumbled. I did those DUI tests and I admit I didn’t look great.
I took the breath test and I blew a .220. Yes, it’s high and I know it. But the bottom line is that if I hadn’t drank the high gravity beers I would not have gotten so drunk and I wouldn’t have gotten a DUI, so maybe that can be a defense.
C.V. in Sandy Springs, GA
Answer: High-gravity beers have gained quite a popular following amongst beer drinkers. High-gravity beers are beers with a higher alcohol concentration than other beers. Many people say high-gravity beer is more bold, flavorful, interesting and powerful than “ordinary” brews. People talk about their more “intense” flavors, tastes, and potency.
But many people drink them because the higher alcohol content gets them drunk way faster than standard beers.
It’s hard to see how a defense built around the higher alcohol concentration of these beers will help you. However, that doesn’t mean that you won’t have a good defense. In any DUI case, we examine the totality of all evidence to ensure that our clients are fully represented. We use that information in all of our negotiations with the prosecutors.
Question: I still can’t believe that I caught a DUI in Johns Creek because I only drink beer. I’m really not drunk when I have 5 beers because I know my limit and what I can handle. The Johns Creek cop said I was speeding and made me do those field sobriety tests I’ve been reading about on the internet and I think I looked drunk when I did them because I had a stumble. He looked at my eyes and asked me to count backwards, which I did pretty well.
I took the breath test at the jail and I blew a .142 so now I need a the best Johns Creek DUI lawyer to help me. I truly can’t believe that the number was so damn high because I just had my usual 5 beers, the same amount I have each weekend, and they don’t get me drunk. It’s hard to understand how I did so badly on the test at the jail. I told the cop I was talking to at the jail that I was the designated driver and that everyone else in the car was super drunk, but he didn’t care.
I think I did so badly on the breath test because my friend bought the beer and it was high gravity beer, which I think has more alcohol than regular beer. I can’t believe a little more alcohol from a high gravity beer would affect me so much, but maybe it can.
My friend works in a liquor store and he told me the beer we drank was imported and hard to get and is considered collectible by people who like beer. It tasted alright, but I’m still partial to my American beers. And the beer I drink pretty much all the time is light beer so I can keep the calories away.
G.E. in Johns Creek
Answer: High gravity beers can have significantly higher alcohol than other beers, particularly the light beers that you write you regularly drink. A high gravity beer can be anywhere from about 9% alcohol to 20% alcohol. In comparison, a Bud Light has about 4.3% alcohol and a Bud registers at 5%. So a high gravity beer has far more alcohol than a “regular” beer.
In your case, if you’re used to drinking 5 light beers and not feeling too drunk, 5 high gravity beers can be a very different situation. In fact, in terms of alcohol consumption, the high gravity beers could have had three times the alcohol that you usually consume. It’s as if you drank 15 beers instead of just 5.
It is certainly possible that 5 high gravity beers could lead to a high blood alcohol concentration (BAC) and a DUI.