Driving a vehicle under the influence of alcohol is a serious offense in nearly every part of the world. Unfortunately, drinking is one of the most popular social activities among adults across the globe as well. This combination leads to many DUI arrests and accidents that could have been avoided if some simple precautions were followed. Keeping track of your drinking and using simple pieces of technology can keep you safe. If you don’t have the ability to determine whether you are under the legal limit, you shouldn’t be driving. Avoiding a DUI is about more than staying out of jail, it’s about keeping the road safe for yourself, your passengers and other people on the highway.
How Much Have You Had to Drink
Sober people know exactly how much they’ve had to drink in any give night, so if you can’t answer this simple question, you shouldn’t be driving. According to the Virginia Tech Alcohol Abuse Prevention Center, having zero drinks is the only safe limit for driving. Intoxication levels depend on several factors, including your weight, gender, how many drinks you have, and how quickly you have them. A normal person can take the number of standard drinks they have, subtract the number of hours they have been drinking, then multiply it by .02 to get a rough estimate of their BAC. Remember, even low levels of intoxication below the legal limit can impair your driving skills.
What Kind of Drinker Are You
Responsible or light drinkers can find it easy to limit their intake and stay within the legal BAC for driving, but alcohol abusers and alcoholics may find themselves violating the law without even realizing it. Most heavy drinkers lose control of their ability to stop drinking as soon as they start. If you have a problem with alcohol, or others tell you that you have a problem, you should never drive on a night out drinking. Alcoholics can quickly lose control of the situation, so it’s important to be around safe and responsible people if you decide to drink.
Personal breathalyzers are now available from a variety of technology companies. If you’ve been out drinking for the night and plan on driving home, it’s a very good idea to test your own BAC with one of these devices. While the technology is not 100 percent accurate, it can give you a good estimate of your intoxication levels. If you are anywhere close to the legal limit for driving, you should stay off the road. Some devices may underestimate your level of intoxication. Claiming that you passed your own breathalyzer is not a valid defense in a court of law.
Never Too Safe
You can never be too safe when it comes to drinking and driving. If you’re not sure that you’re sober enough to drive, and you have no good way to evaluate the situation, don’t get behind the wheel. Being stuck at a bar or party without the use of your car can be frustrating, but the consequences of driving under the influence aren’t worth it. Call a taxi or get someone sober to drive you home. Getting on the road with just one too many drinks in your system can be the difference between life and death.
Byline: Joel Carrington is a lawyer dedicated to helping promote road safety, which can involve decreasing Traffic Offenses or DUIs.