People don’t drive while drunk because they are unaware of the laws against impaired driving. Instead, they often don’t realize that they are about to break the law despite knowing exactly what the law requires of them.
Even those with good intentions might get behind the wheel after having too much to drink because the average person has a very hard time accurately assessing whether or not they have consumed too much alcohol to drive safely.
Why is it so hard for someone to gauge their own sobriety?
The human brain controls everything the body does and is in constant communication with body parts to monitor someone’s environment and physical condition. The average adult can tell if the air pressure or temperature is substantially different from what they usually experience. They can tell when they are changes in their own bodies that may indicate that they are sick or possibly injured.
However, not everyone can accurately assess their own physical condition. Numerous factors limit people’s self-assessment skills, including chemical impairment. Alcohol, in particular, has a known diminishing effect on a person’s ability to realistically self-evaluate. Although others can clearly see the warning signs of intoxication in an individual, they may not notice those same issues when evaluating themselves.
Additionally, a personal tolerance for alcohol might lead someone to believe that they are sober enough to drive because they do not display any overt signs of impairment. However, they could still face arrest because they would be far over the legal limit. An officer could arrest them for a technical drunk driving infraction if they were to perform a chemical breath test.
Poor self-evaluation is not a viable defense
Unfortunately for those already arrested for an impaired driving offense, the difficulty people have gauging their own chemical impairment won’t help them defend themselves in court. However, there are many potential strategies that those accused of impaired driving can employ in court. From reviewing the chemical evidence brought against them to challenging the traffic stop, they may be able to avoid a conviction with a carefully-planned criminal defense.
Learning more about why people face drunk driving charges, and which excuses can and cannot be used as viable defenses, can help someone who is hoping to fight back against them.