Most of us don’t wonder if we’re a drunk driver. Either we have made that bad choice in the past or have never (and would never) risk the lives of others on the road. A drunk driver can definitely be a person who makes an innocent mistake after too many drinks at the bar with friends, just as easily as it can be a person who cannot control their drinking. Statically speaking, the most likely drunk driver is just your regular, Midwestern, Generation X guy, that same dude you went to college with or who sold you a car a few weeks back.
There are a few other clues, however, that you might be a drunk driver. For instance:
- When asked, you stated you were “okay to drive,” despite your slurred speech.
- You then got into the driver’s seat and started your vehicle.
- You ran a stoplight, hit a curb or can’t seem to figure out where your lane is while driving.
Research says that a DUI offender has likely driven under the influence of alcohol an estimated 80 times previously. Even if you don’t have a conviction, or haven’t been charged with a DUI, if you’re intoxicated and behind the wheel, you’re a drunk driver.
Currently, the majority of U.S. states have all-offender ignition interlock requirements and other strict penalties for those drunk drivers who are caught in the act. There are also new states that look at toughening their own laws each year, giving us all a practical reason to stay sober when driving, in case saving lives wasn’t enough incentive.
The truth is that when you think you’re okay to drive after you’ve been drinking any amount of alcohol, you’re potentially an impaired driver. That state of mind can quickly lead to drunk driving and those very real legal and/or lifelong consequences. You may be from the midwest, or a Generation X rock star, but that doesn’t mean you have to be a drunk driver.