Drunk driving, also known as driving while intoxicated (DWI), is the act of operating a vehicle while inebriated. This includes consuming alcohol and other drugs that impair a driver’s ability to safely operate a vehicle. It’s the most common traffic offense in the United States, and one that can result in serious consequences.
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Most states have a set limit for how much alcohol you can drink and still drive legally. Typically, this is based on your age and how much you’ve consumed.
This isn’t always an accurate measure of how intoxicated you are because your body and alcohol tolerance vary a lot. If you’re a heavy drinker, even a small amount of alcohol can affect your reaction time, depth perception, and information-processing abilities.
The legal limits for drinking and driving differ by state, although all states have a 0.08% blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) as a baseline. If your BAC is higher, you will be charged with a DUI.
A first-time drunken-driving arrest can have major repercussions for you and your family. You can lose your license, pay fines and be forced to undergo a court-ordered alcohol rehabilitation program. In some cases, you may even spend time in jail.
When you get caught driving drunk, you’ll likely be taken to the police station where you’ll take a blood or breath test. If the results are high, you’ll be arrested and charged with a DWI or DUI.
If you’re in the car behind a drunk driver on a winding road, they may occasionally slow down or speed up, but you should resist the urge to pass them at that moment. It could be fatal.
When someone is under the influence of alcohol, their words can seem muddled and strangely mixed up. They may also have trouble remembering names and places.
When people are under the influence of alcohol, they tend to stutter, drop things and have difficulty controlling their movements. If you notice these symptoms while in the car with a friend who has been drinking, try to get them to stay behind until they are sober or ask them to get a ride home.
A person who refuses to submit to a chemical test or tests above the legal limit can face a longer DL suspension and revocation.
If you plan on having multiple drinks while out, it’s important to choose a drinking schedule that will ensure you don’t exceed the legal limit of driving while intoxicated. The best rule of thumb is to never drink more than one drink per hour.
Taking a taxi, bus or train to and from a bar or nightclub is the best option if you’re going to have a few drinks. This will help you avoid the dangers of driving while intoxicated and also save you money.