About a week ago police in Newton, Massachusetts flagged down a police cruiser. He was with a woman who he claims hit his car with hers and fled the scene shortly after midnight on July 3, 2009. The man told the police that he witnessed the woman’s vehicle hit a mirror on his car after which the woman took off. The man followed her and managed to get her to stop. The two exchanged information about the accident. The woman claimed that she did not know that she struck his car. When the police arrived they detected signs of intoxication. The woman, Joanne Emerly admitted to drinking three glasses of wine. The police arrested her and charged her with OUI.
If the defendant in this case truly did have only three glasses of wine then she may have a triable case. A “typical” glass of wine is four ounces. The “typical alcohol percentage” of wines is 8% to 10%. Calculating blood alcohol can be done using a tool known as the Widmark Formula. There are several webistes that use this formula and provide a blood alcohol calculator. Here is an example of how the formula works. You enter the weight of the subject into the calculator along with the amount of drinks consumed, the time period over which they were consumed, the size of the drink consumed and the percentage of alcohol in the drink. So, according to this formula, if the defendant in this case had three glasses of wine (four ounces each) over a two hour period and she weighed one hundred thirty pounds her blood alcohol level would be a .068. This is under the legal limit. This also assumes that the wine she drank had the maximum percentage of alcohol allowed by law which is fourteen percent. Knowing these factors is critical to preparing a strong defense to an OUI case.