It is well known that alcohol impairs a person’s judgment and reflexive abilities which is why someone who has been drinking should not be behind a wheel. However, most motorists underestimate exactly how drunk they are and almost always mistakenly believe that they are fit to drive. Not surprisingly, a new study finds that self-monitoring and self-evaluation of drunkenness may not help prevent accidents involving drunk motorists.
The study was conducted in Germany which has a legal blood alcohol concentration limit of 0.05. The researchers found in their study that more than 50% of the participants believed that they were fit to drive even though they had a blood alcohol concentration limit that was higher than the maximum legal limit. There were ninety participants in the study, and the average age of the participants was 24. As part of the study, the participants were made to drink alcoholic beverages until their blood alcohol concentration level reached 0.11% or more than twice the legal limit in that country. The study was conducted over a period of two days.
The researchers found that as many as 39% of the participants believed that they had just reached the intoxication limit when they had crossed the limit. On the second day, 53% of the participants believed that they had just reached the legal limit when they had actually surpassed it. This shows that individual ability to determine drunkenness cannot be taken as a confirmation of a person’s ability to drive safely. Self evaluation of driving ability can be extremely prejudiced, and drivers can be prone to making errors in determining their own ability to drive safely.
According to the researchers, the study’s findings have even more dangerous implications in countries like the United States which have a much higher maximum blood alcohol concentration limit, because motorists are very likely to feel comfortable drinking much more while all the time falsely believing that they have a long way to go before they reach the maximum blood alcohol concentration limit.
So, how do you determine that you are too drunk to drive? Ideally, if you know that you are going to drive, you should not be drinking alcoholic beverages. Avoid drinking if you know for a fact that there is no one to drive you home, or make arrangements to get a cab, or call a rideshare service. If none of these options are available to you, the researchers suggest that you make use of an app that helps you determine if you are too intoxicated to drive safely.
Intoxication is an extremely individual condition. Your capacity to absorb and tolerate alcohol may be very different from that of your friends, even after having had the same number of alcoholic drinks. Intoxication can depend on the number and type of alcoholic beverages you have consumed, your age, your medical history and other factors. It is always best to avoid risk, however, and simply get a ride home if you have consumed alcohol.
If you or a loved one have suffered injuries in a drunk driving accident, talk to an Atlanta car accident lawyer at the Katz Law Firm, and determine if you have legal options to a claim for damages.