One of the main reasons why people get pulled over for impaired driving is that they honestly thought they were sober enough to drive. They usually didn’t think they had a BAC of 0.00%. They knew they’d had a few drinks. They just thought they were well below the legal limit.
After all, there are plenty of people who have a beer with dinner or who order a glass of wine when they go out to eat. They never think twice about driving. But someone who has a bit too much may not be able to tell.
The trouble with judging it yourself
Researchers have studied this to better understand how it happens. What they found is that those who have been drinking generally underestimate their own intoxication.
There are a few reasons for this. One is just that alcohol impairs your ability to think clearly and make sound judgments. The more you have, the worse these abilities get, meaning they’re not going to help you when you need it most.
Additionally, people generally looked at those around them and compared their level of intoxication. The environment mattered.
Say someone had three drinks. If they were sitting quietly in the DMV, they may feel absolutely intoxicated because no one else was drinking at all. If they were sitting in a rowdy bar full of partygoers who were entirely intoxicated, though, that same person may think that they were pretty sober. Nothing changed except how they judged themselves compared to those around them.
If you have been accused of drunk driving, especially if you believe you were not impaired, you must know what legal options you have.