Many times, people know themselves best when it comes to assessing whether they are safe to drive. However, it is true that some people may have a false sense of how well they are able to drive after a few (or more) drinks.
So, should you trust your judgment about whether you are safe to drive? How about if you have something such as a portable or smartphone breath test?
If in doubt…
A good rule of thumb is this: If you have any doubt about whether you are safe to drive, it may not be worth trying to puzzle out all of the nuances that could go into your BAC. It is probably best to find another way to your next destination, be it riding with a sober friend or taking a cab.
Be wary of what your portable devices say
As for relying on what a portable or smartphone breath test might say, that can be risky too. (So can using an online calculator.) For one thing, the breath tests often give out results that do not make sense, or they promise accurate results under narrow circumstances that might not fit your situation. For another thing, if they say you are safe to drive, that could give you a false sense of security. For example, if you just drank a good deal of alcohol, your BAC is likely to peak later when you are on the road as opposed to now. Even if you have not had alcohol in an hour, claiming, “My personal breath test said I was sober enough to drive,” is a defense that might not work in court.
When is it safe to drive again?
So, you understand you should probably not drive now, but if you hang around a bar for three or four hours, could you drive home then? It is possible but could be unlikely. Keep in mind that many people go to bed intoxicated and wake up with enough alcohol in their system to still be too intoxicated to drive. If you are feeling any effects of the alcohol, you might want to hang up the keys for now.