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Drunk Drivers May Not Realize They’re Impaired

Cranwell & Moore P.L.C. Dec. 28, 2022

If you’ve been injured in an accident that was caused by a drunk driver, the first question you may ask is: Why? Why would this person drive while they’re impaired? Why would they put you in this type of danger and cause these injuries? Clearly, they knew that drunk driving was illegal and they also knew that they had been drinking, so they made this intentional decision.

There are numerous reasons why this happens, but one of them is simply that these drivers may not know exactly how impaired they are. In a lot of cases, studies find that people misjudge their own intoxication. This can lead to them driving when they believe it’s safe, but they’re actually over the legal limit in the state.

Comparing Themselves to Others

One way that this can happen is when they compare themselves to other people who may be more intoxicated. For example, someone who is at a social gathering full of other impaired individuals may believe that they are not actually that intoxicated themselves. But if they were in a setting where no one had been drinking, such as a church service, they may suddenly feel very intoxicated. Just because someone is the most sober person at the bar does not mean that it is safe for them to drink and drive.

Overestimating the Recovery

Another issue that sometimes happens is that people just overestimate how fast alcohol goes through their system and how fast their blood alcohol concentration declines. They may think that spending a half an hour drinking water at the end of the night is enough to sober them up. But the truth is that your body metabolizes alcohol slowly and your blood alcohol concentration can take hours to drop back below the legal limit.

What Are Your Options?

The above can help you understand why you may have been injured in the accident, but that’s only the beginning of the process. Make sure you also know what legal options you have to seek compensation for things like medical bills, lost wages and other costs.