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Impaired individuals can’t tell how drunk they are

On Behalf of | Jul 3, 2023 | DUI/DWI

There are people who decide that they’re going to go out drinking, but they know that they don’t want to drive home afterward. Maybe they plan to only have one or two drinks with dinner, so they figure they won’t be over the legal limit anyway. Or maybe they simply suggest that if they’re too intoxicated, they will call a cab or seek another way home. They won’t get in the car and drive unless they know it’s safe.

But will they know if it’s safe? Some studies have found that they may have absolutely no idea.

Trouble judging intoxication

What the study determined was that the more intoxicated someone got, the more difficult it became for them to judge that intoxication. Someone who only had one drink may still be thinking relatively clearly and be able to tell if the alcohol is affecting them. But someone who is at twice the legal limit, for instance, typically would have no idea how intoxicated they were. 

Of course, a big reason for this is that alcohol itself impairs a person’s judgment. They can’t think as rationally and effectively as normal, and it’s easier for them to miss signs and symptoms of intoxication. They may also fall into the trap of comparing themselves to others around them. People sometimes believe that they are not very intoxicated even if they’re over the legal limit, just because the people around them are even more intoxicated than they are. This can give them a false sense of confidence in their own ability to drive.

What all of this means is that someone who sets out with good intentions could still face a DUI arrest. They need to be sure that they understand all of their legal defense options.