Someone’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is an interesting measurement. Most people know that they cannot legally drive with a BAC that is over 0.08%. Yet, at the same time, they have no way to measure their own. Some use personal breath tests, but these are by no means official and hard to trust. They can’t be used in court.
The more common way to decide if it’s safe to drive, then, is just to consider how you feel at the moment. If you had a few drinks and now you’re heading home, you may sit in the car for a minute considering whether or not you should put the keys in the ignition. But do you ever really know?
Science says that you do not
Believe it or not, this has been studied. The result of the study is simple: Most people have no real idea how drunk they are or how high their BAC may be.
One reason for this is that alcohol itself impairs your judgment. You may determine that you feel fine and you can drive, but you only think that because you’re so intoxicated that you’re not thinking clearly. It’s usually easier for a sober person to determine how drunk someone else is than for a person to make that same determination about themselves.
What if you make the wrong decision?
You may honestly try to be safe and only drive when you believe you aren’t impaired. If you get pulled over and accused of drunk driving anyway, then you need to know what legal options you have at your disposal.