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How to Tell if You’re Too Drunk to Drive

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You’ve met your friends for a drink, which has turned into a few more over the course of the night; so should you hop in your car and drive home, or call a cab and play it safe? First of all, if you have to ask yourself, the answer is probably “you’re too drunk to drive.” The best answer about how to tell if you’re too drunk to drive is that if you’re asking yourself, you probably are. But in case you need some reassurance, here are our tips.

How to Tell if You’re Too Drunk to DriveAs a responsible adult, you should know your limits when it comes to alcohol, and plan to find alternate transportation as soon as you’ve passed those limits. Once you’ve been drinking, it’s easy for your impaired mind to rationalize why you are ok to drive, but in reality you’re probably not. When in doubt, always find a safe ride home.

If you’re not sure if you should drive or not, here are a few tests which can help you make the call. But at the end of the day, remember that if you’ve had more than a couple of drinks, chances are you should find an alternative means of transport.

Have you had more than one drink per hour?

The average body can process about one drink per hour. That doesn’t mean you can drink five drinks in one hour, and then wait five hours before driving. That means pace yourself, and use good judgment. Keep in mind that smaller-than-average people may need more time to process each drink.

Use an app or online calculator.

Body weight is a huge factor in how long it takes for a person to process alcohol. Sophisticated apps and online calculators take into account time, weight, and number and types of drinks to estimate you’re blood alcohol level (BAC). Keep in mind this is only an estimate designed to give you an idea. If you’re even close to the legal limit (0.08 in most states), find a safe ride. This chart created by the University of Oklahoma is widely respected.

Use field sobriety tests or a Breathalyzer.

Use the tests that a police officer would use to determine if you would pass. Walking in a straight line, counting backwards, or touching your finger to your nose with your eyes closed are just a few of the sobriety tests police use. A sober friend should be able to tell you if you waiver or lose your balance. This is certainly not a sure thing, and as always, if you aren’t sure, find a ride.

Common sense should also tell you that if you feel the need to perform field sobriety tests to determine whether or not you’re too drunk to drive, chances are… you’re too drunk to drive.

Another, and more reliable option, is to purchase a personal Breathalyzer. This will help you determine your BAC with great accuracy.

For more great tips on determining if you’re too drunk to drive, check out

Always remember: if you’re unsure about your sobriety, it’s never worth risking your life and the lives of other drivers. In in doubt, get a ride home.