In 2012, 87.6 percent of people in the US ages 18 and older said they have drunk alcohol at some point in their life. In the same year, deaths due to alcohol-impaired driving totaled 10,322, or 31 percent of all driving fatalities. Deaths attributed to alcohol intake are 88,000 annually. These are sobering that should wake you up from your intoxication.

You may not be attending AA sessions but you do tend to over-drink a bit. It’s not illegal, unless you’re not of age or you commit offenses that are against the law because alcohol has dulled your mental acuity. Drunk driving is the most common alcohol-related crime in the US. Although it may go by different labels – driving under the influence (DUI), driving while intoxicated (DWI) – drunk driving is a serious crime in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Before you get into trouble for alcohol-induced behavior, learn how to keep that beer or liquor from taking control over your senses while still having fun.

drinking water

  1. Eat more of fats and protein and less of carbohydrates.

Russians are known to drink vodka in generous amounts yet still remain sober. Their secret is eating food before and while drinking. Eating a raw egg before a New Year feast is a common practice and a surefire way to keep sober throughout a night of drinking but if a fear of contracting Salmonella bothers you, drinking a tablespoon of sunflower oil makes a good substitute. Cheese, meat and oily fish immediately after a drinking session will help keep you on your feet longer. Avoid overloading on carbs and sweets as they tax the liver and pancreas, and interferes with the processing of alcohol.

  1. Drink a diluter.

Diluters are non-alcoholic drinks that you take in between the alcoholic ones. Diluters mix with the alcohol in your stomach, lessening its effect and delaying its absorption into your bloodstream. It also takes up space in your belly, so you get a feeling of fullness and this will hold you from drinking too much too soon.

The best diluter is a glass of water after every bottle or glass of alcoholic drink. Water is hydrating, making for a more tolerable hangover the morning after.

If you must have a diluter other than water, choose regular soda over diet beverages. Diet drinks used as diluters resulted in higher breath alcohol concentration compared to having regular drinks as diluters. Research showed that the stomach sees the sugar in the regular sodas as food and consequently delays the absorption of alcohol into the system. Since diet drinks contain less sugar, there is no hindrance to faster alcohol absorption.

This is especially significant in worst case circumstances when you are pulled over for DUI/DWI and a breath analysis is performed as a point of arrest testing. Whether the analyzer shows an estimated BAC within or over the legal limit, you will need a good criminal lawyer to help you handle the situation.

  1. Follow the one-drink-per-hour rule.

A drink in the US is any of the following: a 12-oz beer, an 8-oz malt liquor, which is beer with higher alcohol content, 5-oz. wine, or 1.5-oz distilled spirits, such as gin, rum, vodka and whiskey.

Generally, the one-drink-per-hour limit will keep your blood alcohol content within the 0.06 level. The legally drunk level is 0.08 BAC, for which one can be charged with drunk driving. So keeping this in mind when you’re drinking may restrain you from binge drinking. Another motivation for keeping within this limit is being conscious about the number of calories in your drink. A 12-oz bottle of regular beer has about 150 calories. Add that up in binge drinking and it almost meets the typical daily caloric intake.

A more scientific way of computing the number of drinks your weight will allow in a certain length of time without going over a BAC of 0.06 is by using a BAC calculator. These calculators are found in university and college websites.