How Do You Know You’re Too Intoxicated to Drive?

Published on Dec 12, 2019 at 3:03 pm in Car Accidents.

Keys in front of an alcoholic drink

There are tons of bars and clubs to enjoy in Jackson when you’re of age. Going out for drinks and dancing can be a great stress reliever after a long week. But the stress of the week can extend into the weekend when you drink too much, drive home, and get a DUI. Not only are you putting yourself in danger physically and financially when you drink and drive, but you’re also putting everyone else on the road in danger.

It doesn’t matter if you’re driving a block or five miles, drunk driving can be deadly. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that Mississippi has more drunk drivers than the national average. Before you get behind the wheel, you should make sure that you’re without a doubt fine to drive.

Calculating Your Blood Alcohol Concentration

Drunk driving is determined by a test of the amount of alcohol in your system while driving. Mississippi law states that your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) must be below .08% if you are the legal age to drink. If you are underage, a BAC at or above .02% is considered unlawful while driving. Officers will use a breathalyzer on the scene, but can also send you to the hospital for a blood test.

If you’re out drinking, you most likely don’t have a way to accurately test your BAC, but you can estimate your BAC using your weight, number of drinks, and hours spent drinking. You can also consult a table that provides a general calculation.

The general rule is that your body breaks down one alcoholic drink per hour, paired with a glass of water. So typically, the average person can drink two drinks within an hour and still be within the legal limit to drive. But these shouldn’t be taken as exact measurements and heavily influence your decision to drive or not.

Physical Signs You Shouldn’t Drive

If you’re unable to predict your BAC, you can also look to physical signs that you’re too intoxicated to drive. Alcohol affects your senses, so drunkenness can present itself through your actions in ways you might not be aware of. Though these are not always apparent, they are still a way to gauge whether or not you are intoxicated:

  • Swaying or stumbling
  • Slurred speech
  • Double vision
  • Lack of focus
  • Slow reaction time
  • Poor judgement

If you have even the slightest presence of any one of these, you should not get behind the wheel. In fact, if you’re wondering whether or not you’re too drunk to drive, it’s best to find another ride, like a cab or a sober friend. Even if you think you’re fine to drive, you should rethink it. You don’t want to risk a serious accident from your decision to drive drunk. Driving completely sober is always your safest option.

A car accident with a drunk driver can be debilitating. Not only can they result in terrible injuries, but many drunk driving accidents are deadly. If you’ve been in a crash caused by a drunk driver in Jackson, you should have legal help for making a claim. You deserve compensation for your injuries and damages, and Pittman Roberts & Welsh, PLLC can win for you. To discuss your case with our experienced car accident lawyers, contact us today.

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