People often assume that those arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) offenses have an issue with alcohol. There is a correlation between alcoholism and repeat DUI arrests. Those who struggle to control their drinking habits and who hide their issues from others might feel more inclined to drive home after having too much to drink.
However, even those who are just occasional or social drinkers could be at risk of a DUI charge depending on their habits. The decisions that people make about when, where and how they drink can directly influence their likelihood of unintentionally violating the law and getting arrested for a DUI.
What “everyday” drinking habits increase the chance of an impaired driving arrest?
Stopping at happy hour after work
Nothing puts a stressful work day behind someone quite as effectively as a perfect drink on the way home. Unfortunately, the choice to stop for a happy hour drink could be a dangerous one. The longer it has been since someone’s lunch, the greater the chances that they don’t have enough food in their stomach after a long day at work to safely absorb the alcohol in their beverage. Drinking on an empty stomach on the way home from work before dinner could lead to an unexpectedly significant increase in someone’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) and a noticeable impact on their driving ability.
Finishing one for the road
Those preparing to leave a party or end a long night negotiating with business partners might have one last drink before they leave. Frequently, someone may have already ordered a drink when they decide it is time to head home. They might then consume their drink as quickly as possible. The sooner after finishing a drink that someone gets behind the wheel, the more likely their BAC is to continue rising after they leave. Additionally, drinking quickly affects how the body metabolizes alcohol and might lead to a more noticeable degree of impairment than someone might have if they slowly sipped the same drink.
Switching out beverages or bars
Having a sense of adventure can keep life fresh and exciting. However, predictability is key to safety when it comes to alcohol consumption. People need to know how much alcohol is in a beverage and how well they tolerate the drink to make responsible choices. Switching between different types of alcohol, such as going from wine to beer, might make it harder for people to gauge their level of intoxication. Switching to a different bar or restaurant might mean that the drinks are stronger or bigger than what someone usually enjoys. The same number of drinks could lead to them feeling more intoxicated than they might anticipate.
Identifying habits that could increase the risk of a drunk driving arrest may help those trying to comply with traffic laws while enjoying alcohol safely.