How Do You Know if You're Sober and Capable of Driving?

How Do You Know if You’re Sober and Capable of Driving?

July 26, 2019

If you’ve been out to a nice dinner, at a bar or at a gathering with friends and have had any alcohol to drink, you might be wondering how to tell if you’re sober and legally able to drive yourself home.

Of course, the best option is to not drink anything at all if you know you’re going to be driving. This is the most surefire way to avoid any impairment and to completely prevent yourself from any possibility of being arrested for driving under the influence. But realistically, not all people (or even most people) are going to take this route—they’re going to figure out what is a “safe” number of drinks for them to have before they drive themselves home.

As a DUI lawyer in Cincinnati, OH, here are a few examples of some of the methods we’ve heard about people commonly using to gauge their sobriety or their ability to drive.

Number of drinks combined with amount of time

It’s not just the number of drinks you’ve consumed that impacts your sobriety, but also the amount of time over which you’ve consumed them. Four drinks in an hour is very different than four drinks over the course of half a day, for example.

A general rule is to assume your body is capable of processing one drink per hour. However, that does not mean you should down five drinks in an hour and then drive home four hours later. The point is to pace yourself, and be reasonable with your body and the amount of alcohol you consume. Keep in mind that smaller people or people who rarely drink alcohol may need more time to process a single drink.

Apps and calculators

Body weight is another important factor for how much you can expect a drink to affect you. There are a variety of apps and calculators that will process an estimated BAC based on your weight, the number of drinks you’ve had, the type of drinks and the time in which you drank them. Of course, this is only an estimate—the app isn’t actually measuring your BAC, so you should take the results with a grain of salt.

Breathalyzer tests and field sobriety tests

You could even put yourself through field sobriety tests like a police officer would, including walking in a straight line, counting backwards or touching your finger to your nose. There are also breathalyzers you can purchase and carry around with you, but they aren’t generally as accurate as those used by law enforcement. However, if you really feel the need to use field sobriety tests on yourself, it’s probably safe to assume you’ve had enough alcohol that you shouldn’t be getting behind the wheel.

Again, we cannot emphasize enough that the best way to guarantee your safety is to not drink at all before driving. If you do decide to consume alcohol, consider finding another way home, including ridesharing services, a designated driver, public transportation or walking (if you’re close enough).

For more information, contact a DUI lawyer in Cincinnati, OH at Herzner Law, LLC.

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