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People often don’t know how impaired they are

On Behalf of | Feb 7, 2024 | Drunk Driving Charges |

People sometimes get pulled over for drunk driving when they intentionally took steps to avoid it. Perhaps they waited an hour after their last drink. Maybe they had a cup of coffee – a common myth that doesn’t reduce a person’s BAC. Maybe they just carefully considered their level of impairment before getting in the car, and they felt that their decision was safe. They decided they were not too drunk to drive.

But when they get pulled over by the police, they could still fail field sobriety tests or find that they have a BAC that is over the legal limit when they take a breath test. The driver honestly did not think that they were breaking the law or acting dangerously, so how did this happen? How are they impaired without realizing it?

Alcohol impairs judgment

The big thing to remember is that alcohol itself impairs a person’s judgment and cognitive abilities. So an intoxicated person, when thinking about whether or not it is safe for them to drive, may be less able to determine their level of impairment the more impaired they are.

Studies have been carried out to see how this happens. What researchers found is that people will often judge their level of intoxication simply based on those around them. So someone who is in a club or a bar with a lot of other intoxicated individuals may think that they are relatively sober, despite being over the legal limit. Meanwhile, someone who is in a quiet setting, like a church or a library, may feel that they are very intoxicated – even though they aren’t over the legal limit.

Have you been arrested for impaired driving? A conviction can have a major impact on the rest of your life, so be sure you know what legal options you have.