Before going out, most drivers will say that they wouldn’t get in the car if they’re too impaired. They will assure friends or family members that, if they get drunk, they won’t drive. They’ll find another way to get home.
However, this seems logical and responsible at the time, but it may not actually be possible. The problem is that research has found that people who are intoxicated actually don’t have much sense of how drunk they really are.
This only gets worse with a higher level of intoxication. For instance, by the time they reach 0.16% – twice the legal limit for drivers in the United States – they generally can’t determine how drunk they are on a scale of 1 to 10.
Two reasons this happens
The first reason that this happens is clear: Alcohol impairs your judgment. When you’re sober and rational, you assume that you’ll know if it’s not safe to drive. But when you’re actually intoxicated, it’s much easier to make the wrong call specifically because that is how alcohol impacts your brain function.
The second issue is that people sometimes try to judge their own intoxication based on the people around them. But this means that the setting itself can be deceptive. If they were at home with one other sober person, it may be clear to them that they were very intoxicated.
If they’re at a bar full of other people who have also been drinking excessively, they may honestly think that they’re one of the most sober people in the room. And they could be right, but they could still be pulled over if they try to drive their car home.
What are your options?
As you can imagine, this certainly means that you could face drunk driving allegations when you didn’t realize you were breaking the law. Be sure that you know about all the legal options that you have.