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Report: Drinkers may be drinking more than they think

As we head into the weekend, many people in Minnesota may be making plans to head out for dinner, watch a football game or grab some drinks with some friends. But chances are, these people are not making plans to get arrested for drunk driving. 

People who get behind the wheel after drinking may not have reason to believe they are intoxicated. They may think, "I only had one or two drinks. I feel sober and should be completely legal to drive." But many of these motorists can get quite a shock if they are pulled over and found to have a blood alcohol concentration that is over the legal limit of 0.08 percent. 

But a new report suggests that people may ultimately be more intoxicated than they think because their drinks are getting stronger and stronger.

The report was released by the National Alcohol Beverage Control Association and it states that wine is getting stronger, beers are getting larger and drinks are getting bigger. And these changes are having a significant impact on those people who are used to having just one or two drinks.

Wine drinkers in particular may be surprised to learn that their glass is at least an ounce fuller than a standard serving size, and their drink may be 15 percent alcohol, instead of the standard 12 percent alcohol defined as a serving by the USDA's Dietary Guidelines.

Beer drinkers may be getting more alcohol than they bargained for as well. Some brews have alcohol percentages nearing 10 percent, and many of them come in pints, making them 16 ounces instead of the standard 12 ounces.

The findings of this report suggest that even the most conscientious drinker may be imbibing more than they realize. With drinks getting stronger and serving sizes getting larger, it can be difficult to accurately judge just how much alcohol has been consumed and people may not know for sure unless they are pulled over and given a breath or field sobriety test. And the difference between passing these tests and getting arrested for a DWI in Minnesota can come down to just how big or strong that last drink was.

Source: HealthDay, "How Much Alcohol In Your Drink? Strong Beverages Make It Tough to Tell," Brenda Goodman, Oct. 15, 2013

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