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Tips to avoid accidentally driving under the influence

As a responsible adult, you would never want to drink and drive. Not only do you know the risks, but you know your limits when it comes to alcohol. Life doesn't always go as planned, though, and most people have, at one point or another, found themselves in a situation where they had more to drink than they were anticipating and are now asking themselves whether they're too drunk to drive. Generally, if you find yourself asking this question, the answer is probably "yes," but how can you be sure?

If one drink turned into several, or you weren't planning to drink at all but then circumstances changed, it can be a bit of an ordeal to find an alternative means of transportation home. Of course, the most important thing is always safety, both your own and that of others, so when in doubt, find a ride. However, if you're right on the edge of uncertainty and simply not entirely sure whether you should drive, there are a few tricks that can help with the decision.

Ways to tell if you've had too much

You know that once you've been drinking, your mind may rationalize that you're alright to drive, so you're not sure whether you can trust yourself or not. You feel sober but you want to do what's best. In situations like this, you may want to:

  • Consider whether you've had more than one drink per hour
  • Use field sobriety tests or a Breathalyzer
  • Use an app or online calculator

These may help you determine whether you're okay to drive. Drunk driving accidents can be fatal for any or all involved, so if you're really unsure, it's always best to err on the side of caution and wait to drive or find a different way home.

Consider whether you've had more than one drink per hour

On average, your body can process approximately one drink per hour. This varies from person to person, however, so you may want to take your size into account, as people who are smaller than average or don't drink as often may need even more time to process each drink.

Use field sobriety tests or a Breathalyzer

You can perform the same tests a police officer would request you do, such as walking in a straight line, touching your finger to your nose while closing your eyes, or counting backwards. Of course, these are not foolproof, so again, if you're at all uncertain, find an alternative means of getting home. An even more reliable option is to buy a personal Breathalyzer and carry it with you. It can help you determine your blood alcohol level with better accuracy.

Use an app or online calculator

If you have a smartphone, there are tools like online calculators and apps that can estimate your BAC (blood alcohol content) by accounting for time, your weight and the number and types of drinks you have had. This estimate is only designed to give you a guess; it's not foolproof, so if you're even close to the legal limit, you should find a different mode of transportation.

Better safe than sorry

At the end of the day, you're the one responsible for making sure that you are sober enough to drive home. If you're uncertain about your sobriety, it's never worth the risk, and if you've had more than a few drinks, you should probably just consider finding a ride. Your own life and the lives of other drivers are far too important.

The upsetting part is that, just because you're careful and responsible when it comes to drinking and driving, not everyone else is. Drunk driving accidents can be catastrophic, if not fatal. If another person driving while under the influence caused severe injury to you or someone you love, a Connecticut personal injury attorney with experience in car accident claims can help you with your legal case and pursue compensation for your suffering.

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