Drinking and driving has been an issue ever since humans, alcohol and vehicles have co-existed. It’s only a few drinks, and you have a high tolerance, so why not drive home? Because no matter your “tolerance,” any amount of alcohol impedes your ability to drive safely.
As a society, we have come up with a laundry list of reasons to justify our ability to drive after drinking. These myths are so inundated in society that they legitimize people’s decision to drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Common drinking and driving myths
- Myth: “Alcohol gives me energy that allows me to stay alert while driving.”
- Fact: Alcohol may give a false sense of energy, but alcohol is a depressant that lowers your brain’s ability to react and perform other necessary functions that are needed to drive safely.
- Myth: “I drink coffee or water before I drive. It sobers me up.”
- Fact: Coffee will not sober you up. What it will do, thanks to the caffeine, is make your jittery and wide-awake. Just because you are feeling more awake doesn’t improve your ability to drive. On the other hand, water will sober you up, but if the only time you drink some water is right before you leave the bar and hop in your vehicle, that isn’t going to sober you up in time. It commonly takes one hour for your liver to process one 12 ounce beer, a 1.5 ounce shot of alcohol or a five-ounce glass of wine.
- Myth: “I’m big, so I have a high alcohol tolerance.”
- Fact: Those with a larger frame may be able to drink more alcohol before feeling its side-effects, but that has to do with many factors and doesn’t justify driving under the influence. Factors that affect our blood alcohol content (BAC) include:
- Height and weight
- Muscle-to-fat ratio
- The food we eat
- Our hydration level
- Stomach enzymes
- Other factors
- Myth: “I Splash cold water on my face and drive with the window open to keep myself alert.”
- Fact: The alertness won’t last long. The booze will take over, you’ll once again feel buzzed or drunk, and your driving will likely suffer.
- Myth: “I drive slow after I drink.”
- Fact: Just because you are driving slower, doesn’t mean you aren’t driving erratically with much slower reaction time.
What if I get a DUI?
While the risks are numerous, many people still choose to drive while intoxicated (DWI) or drive under the influence (DUI). If you do and wind up being charged with a DWI or DUI, which Texas categorizes differently, consider seeking the help of a Texas DWI/DUI attorney to help you fight the penalties.