When people think of drunk drivers, they often imagine someone swerving around the road, unable to see straight or speak clearly. Yes, there are drivers who are this intoxicated who are arrested for drunk driving, but the fact is that many people who are charged with operating a vehicle under the influence may not even realize they are drunk.
As an example, let’s imagine you go out with some friends after work. You hang out for a couple hours and have a few drinks, then get in your car and drive home. You may feel completely sober and don’t even consider the thought that you may be too drunk to drive. However, you could be just barely over the legal limit.
There is no scale that tips when your blood alcohol content goes from 0.07 percent to 0.09 percent. You don’t suddenly feel drunk or start falling over. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the difference between a BAC of 0.05 and 0.08 includes effects like:
- Difficulty detecting danger
- Impaired self-control
- Diminished muscle coordination
- Problems controlling speed
These are hardly measurable effects, and there may still be no outward or visible indication of intoxication, even at 0.08 percent. Because of this, people might feel completely comfortable having another drink.
However, for many people, that will tip the scale and send a BAC over 0.08 percent.
What we want readers to understand is that plenty of people are arrested for DUI/OVI who never believed they were drunk or posed a threat to others on the road. And in the eyes of the law, someone who is just barely over the legal limit can face the same penalties as someone who is clearly displaying signs of intoxication.
We also want readers facing DUI/OVI charges to remember that whether your BAC was just barely over the limit or not, you have the right to speak with an attorney and defend yourself.