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People cannot tell how impaired they are

On Behalf of | Dec 8, 2023 | DUI |

Would you say that you generally know how intoxicated you are? If you’ve been drinking, you can tell if you just have a slight buzz or if you are significantly impaired.

This is an assumption that a lot of people make, especially when deciding if it’s safe to drive home. They will just consider their own impairment level and decide if they should drive or call a cab. They know they have consumed alcohol, but they may still think that it’s perfectly safe to drive because they don’t really feel the effects anymore.

What studies show

The problem with this is that researchers have discovered that those who are intoxicated often can’t tell how impaired they really are. They will rate their impairment level much lower than it actually is. To some degree, this is just because alcohol itself impairs judgment. The more someone drinks, the harder it gets for them to tell how intoxicated they are.

But part of the issue is also that people tend to make this analysis based on others around them. If someone is in a nightclub, they may not feel very impaired at all because everyone else has been drinking more. But if they were in the church, they may feel extremely intoxicated because everyone else is sober. 

This leads to a lot of people in rowdy social situations believing they are more sober than they actually are and trying to drive home when they’re over the legal limit. When this type of mistake leads to an arrest, it’s very important for those facing charges to understand their criminal defense options.


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