How to Identify If You’re Too Drunk to Drive
Summary: Estimating your blood alcohol content in situations where you’re drinking and considering driving could help you make the right decision. Knowing how to identify if you’re too drunk to drive is very important.
Even if you’ve had just a couple of drinks, you may have too much alcohol in your system. Approximately one-third of all traffic fatalities in the U.S. involve a drunk or impaired driver, which is why it’s important to always be aware of your BAC level. When you’re charged with a crime that relates to driving while intoxicated, DWI attorney Denis Driscoll can give you fair and just representation for your case.
The Dangers of Driving While Intoxicated
Drinking only a small amount of alcohol will reduce your reaction time and dull your senses. These adverse effects make driving very difficult, which is why there are harsh penalties for driving while intoxicated in New Jersey. If a police officer notices that you’re driving erratically, you will likely be pulled over and have to take a breath test. This test is designed to determine how much alcohol is currently in your blood. For New Jersey, any alcohol percentage measurement that sits at .08 percent or higher may cause you to be charged with a DWI. If your BAC level is measured at .10 percent or higher, you may be charged with an aggravated DWI.
The consequences of driving while intoxicated are divided into three categories that are referred to as a first offense, a second offense, and a third offense. Whether you are being charged with a DWI for the first or the third time, the charges can include:
- Jail time
- License suspension
- Heavy fines
- Insurance surcharges
- Placement of an ignition interlock device in your vehicle
The penalties of an aggravated DWI are typically more severe than their standard counterparts. There are also different penalties depending on the age of the defendant. If you’re under the age of 21, you could be charged with violating the zero-tolerance law of New Jersey. If you are charged with breaking this law, you will lose the ability to drive for anywhere from 30-90 days, and you will need to complete up to 30 days of community service. You will also need to participate in an education program about the dangers of drinking and driving.
How to Determine Your BAC Level
The best way to avoid driving while drunk is to always estimate your BAC level before you get into a vehicle. There are numerous factors that determine your blood alcohol content, which is why there’s no formula that provides you with a precise reading. To obtain an approximate reading, one alcoholic drink is equal to four ounces of wine, 12 ounces of beer, and 1.5 ounces of liquor.
The amount of drinks you can consume before reaching the legal limit depends on your weight. For example, an individual who weighs 120 pounds will likely have a BAC of more than .08 percent after three drinks. Someone who weighs 220 pounds would need to consume six drinks to reach the legal limit. Given the fact that these numbers are just estimates, have someone else drive or call a taxi after you’ve been drinking. Although weight is the largest factor in determining your blood alcohol content, people absorb alcohol at different rates.
What to Do When You’ve Been Charged With a DWI
When you’ve been charged with a DWI, it’s important that you know your rights. While a conviction can come with severe penalties, there are a variety of factors that can determine the severity of your charges. By calling an experienced attorney like ours who can assist in your case, you can focus solely on the upcoming court date. Your attorney will handle all of the necessary paperwork for your case. If you believe that you’re innocent, you will need an attorney to help you build a strong defense.
If you have recently been charged with any type of DWI and require representation for your case, contact our law office to speak with Denis F. Driscoll. As a DWI attorney experienced with DWI law, Denis Driscoll will be able to guide you through your case and help you understand every detail.