Many people believe that they know how much they can drink before driving. They are sure that they are safe to get behind the wheel and get home without incident and that even if the police pull them over, they will pass any test the officers ask them to take. It turns out they are often wrong.
A team of researchers from three Australian universities set out to bars armed with breath-testing machines and asked people to rate their own alcohol level on a scale of one to 10. Then, they had the same people blow into the machine and showed them the results.
A large number of people turned out to be far more drunk than they realized. The team summarized that being twice the legal limit was enough to leave someone clueless about the amount of alcohol in their body.
Even if you can tell, you might not account for all the alcohol you’ve consumed
Let’s say you correctly estimate the level of alcohol in your body based on how you are feeling at that precise moment. As alcohol takes time to make its way through your system, you might not be taking account of the final drinks you had. They may have not hit you yet, and by the time you get half an hour down the road in your car, you may be far more drunk than when you assessed yourself as safe to leave.
If you recently “got it wrong” and the police caught you driving while over the limit, you cannot turn back the clock. All you can do is examine your defense options and remember not to make the same mistake again.