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One over (the) eight

Posted by Bookworm on August 09, 2004

I saw this in an Agatha Christie novel. A man was in a motorcycle accident and the policeman suggested that he may have been one over (the) eight. (I am not sure if the 'the' is correct or not). From the context, I take it to mean "drunk". Any idea as to the origin? I am guessing it is British, I've never heard it here in the US.