Alcohol consumption effects everyone in different ways. And as much as you think you know your tolerance, trusting your intuition and believing you’re sober enough to drive isn’t always your best bet.
Drunk driving is still a problem across the country. So much so that for the better part of the past decade, over 10,000 people have died in drunk driving accidents each year, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports. Instead of joining this statistic, it’s best to consider why driving after drinking might not be the best choice.
Road to a DUI
Your body and brain can trick you when under the influence of multiple substances, alcohol included. These are some of the common misconceptions of drunk driving that often lead to DUIs:
- Alcohol doesn’t affect my driving
There is science to prove you aren’t superhuman enough to drive perfectly when your blood alcohol level (BAC) is high. The very reason you might be convinced you’re okay to drive is quite literally alcohol, as its impact on the central nervous system leads to poor judgement. Alcohol also slows down the communication between your brain and body which can result in quite reckless actions on the road.
- Enough time has passed
After a brunch filled with mimosas or night out with friends, you might feel like you are ready to drive yourself home because enough time has passed since your last drink. But, even if you’re confident your BAC is below 0.08% because you waited long enough, time can be your enemy. Alcohol doesn’t enter your bloodstream immediately, so you could blow below the legal limit in a personal breathalyzer but still blow above the limit at a traffic stop.
- Caffeine and a snack will sober me up
Fueling up with sustenance before or after you have some alcoholic drinks can slow down the pace that alcohol enters your bloodstream, and coffee can help you feel or appear more attentive. However, taking either measure won’t magically bring down your BAC.
Plan a sober ride
Drinking is meant to be enjoyable. But, taking the time to plan a ride home beforehand can go a long way. Not only does planning a sober ride save lives, but it can also help you keep your driving and criminal record clean. If your alcohol-induced decisions have led to a DUI charge, then an attorney can help guide you through the legal process.