Often, when someone gets arrested on DWI charges, they simply say that they can’t believe they’re over the limit and they feel like it’s still safe to drive. In other words, they weren’t intentionally doing anything wrong or being reckless. They really did think that they could drive safely and that they weren’t putting anyone in danger.
The reason for this may be that people don’t quite understand just how little alcohol it takes to get you up over the legal limit.
A difference in numbers
For instance, one study asked people how many alcoholic drinks they thought they could consume before they would feel like it was no longer safe for them to drive a car. More than a quarter of them said that they could drink three or four beverages before they would reach that level. Just over 6% claimed that they would need more than five drinks to be unfit to get in the car.
Why do people feel this way when a breath test could tell them that they are certainly over the legal limit if they’ve consumed more than five drinks? Often, it just comes back to consistent drinking culture. Someone who drinks alcohol frequently may not feel as impaired or may even get used to driving while they are impaired. They’re not actually taking a reading, so they don’t have any idea what their BAC is. They just think that it feels safe, and they may not understand just how much their physical and mental abilities are being impacted by those drinks.
This doesn’t mean that it’s always unsafe to drive if you’ve consumed any alcohol during the day, but it does show that you can get there quicker than you may realize. If that leads to DWI charges, be sure you know what legal defense options you have.