Providing Experienced Criminal Defense

Do people actually know how intoxicated they are?

On Behalf of | Mar 11, 2024 | Drunk Driving |

When people get pulled over for drunk driving, they sometimes express confusion and remorse. They will say that they didn’t even realize that they were over the legal limit and that they were too impaired to drive safely. They may seem very surprised while being arrested, as if they do not believe they made a poor decision to get behind the wheel.

The problem may be that people who are intoxicated can’t accurately judge their own intoxication levels. There are two main reasons for this, as studies have found.

Impaired judgment

To begin with, alcohol impairs a person’s judgment and decision-making ability. Their cognitive function may be reduced, so it is literally more difficult for them to determine how impaired they are. They may also be more likely to make poor decisions, such as deciding that it is “safe enough” to drive – when they never would have made that choice if they were sober.

Judging by comparison

Another thing that studies have found is that people who do try to decide how drunk they are will often just compare themselves to those around them. So if they’re with someone else who is incredibly intoxicated, they may feel very sober – despite being over the legal limit. By contrast, if they were with someone else who was sober, then it may be easier for them to tell how impaired they are. Many people make these comparisons in bars or clubs where everyone else is also intoxicated.

Are you facing criminal charges after a drunk driving arrest? This can have a major impact on your future and could be very costly, so be sure you know what legal options you have.