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It’s difficult to accurately judge your own impairment

On Behalf of | Jun 14, 2024 | DUI

Drinking and driving is illegal, but many people will still decide to drive if they’ve only had a little bit to drink. They don’t think that they are very impaired or intoxicated. Maybe they just had a drink with dinner, or maybe it’s been an hour since they had the last drink, so they assume they are sober enough to drive.

What this means is that many people get in their cars and make a judgment call about whether or not it’s safe to drive. In some cases, people who decide that it is safe end up getting arrested and finding out they are over the legal limit. They are surprised by this fact because they honestly thought they were acting safely. Why does this happen?

Judging through comparisons

What studies find is that people tend to judge their intoxication level by comparing themselves to those around them. It’s very difficult for someone to accurately think about how impaired they really are, in part because the alcohol itself is impairing their judgment. Therefore, they just look at how impaired others appear, and they make their determination from there.

This means that the conditions around the person may determine whether they decide to drive after drinking. One person may be the only one drinking in a group of people drinking non-alcoholic beverages. They may feel like they are impaired and it is unsafe to drive. Someone else may be drinking lightly in a group of people who are drinking heavily, and they may think that they are relatively sober and that driving would be fine. But both people could have the same BAC.

Have you been arrested on drunk driving charges? You need to know what defense options you have, as you could be facing serious ramifications like jail time, fines and the loss of your driver’s license.