From the outside, it’s common for people to think that drunk drivers knew that they were intoxicated when they got behind the wheel. Other people assume that they knew what they were doing was dangerous and simply decided to drive anyway.
The truth, though, is that people often don’t know how drunk they really are. They may be very surprised to learn that they’re over the legal limit. They believed they could safely drive when they started the car.
Studies confirm these findings
It’s not just suspected drunk drivers who claim they thought they were sober. Studies back this up, with researchers asking people to gauge their own intoxication levels and finding that they were wildly unable to do so.
One interesting factor is that the setting matters. Specifically, someone’s perception of how intoxicated they may be can be heavily influenced by the people around them at the time. People’s guesses about how intoxicated they were often showed that they just compared themselves to those around them.
For instance, two people could each drink three drinks. In a rowdy club full of very intoxicated individuals, one person may feel very sober. In a quiet setting in a dark restaurant, the other person may feel very intoxicated. Their surroundings impact just how drunk they think they are on a subconscious level. One person may think it is safe to get behind the wheel, while the other does not.
When a mistake happens, seek help
If you have been arrested on suspicion of drunk driving, it can change your future forever. You need to know what legal steps to take next to protect your rights. An experienced attorney can help.