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Can you tell how drunk you are?

On Behalf of | Jul 10, 2024 | DUI

“I’m not as drunk as I think you are,” is an old joke that’s played for laughs – but it’s no laughing matter when someone ends up behind the wheel of their car while inebriated. 

Yet, the old joke hides a little truth: People inherently tend to gauge their own sobriety relative to the people around them. That means that when you’re drinking in a bar or a restaurant, “how drunk” you feel may have a lot more to do with how drunk everybody around you seems than reality.

The illusion of sobriety is easy to create

One of the first things alcohol affects is your judgment. The more you drink, the poorer your ability to make sound decisions. A little “liquid courage” can also increase your confidence levels and lower your inhibitions, and that can make it even harder to gauge your own sobriety – especially when you’re comparing yourself to those around you.

So, if your co-workers are wearing lampshades at the office party or you have to haul your best friend down from dancing on the table at a bar, you can’t assume that you’re safe to drive just because you’re not as drunk as they are. It’s always better to:

  • Limit your alcohol consumption. Ideally, you should avoid all alcohol consumption if you know you have to drive. Failing that, know your limits and nurse a beer instead of doing shots if you’re going to have to drive yourself home.
  • Arrange for a ride. Whether you have a designated driver or you make a deal with a relative or friend to come pick you up at the end of a party, this can eliminate the possibility that you’ll make a serious mistake and end up facing charges.
  • Call a professional. Pre-load the Uber or Lyft app onto your phone and put your home address and payment information in it. That way, you can just tuck your keys in your pocket, get a ride home and go back for your vehicle later.

If you do make a mistake, it doesn’t necessarily have to upset your entire world. Experienced legal guidance can help you navigate the situation.