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10 Signs That Your Friend Is Too Drunk to Drive

how to tell if someone is too drunk to drive

Each year nearly 11,000 Americans die from drunk driving. In 2017 in state of California, there were 1,059 alcohol-related accidents that resulted in death. Below we have created a list for how to tell if someone is drunk or how to tell if you’re too drunk to drive. Please take time to read these signs and you may be able to save someone’s life.

1. Witnessing

Many of us like a visual or example when we are trying to understand or grasp something, right? The simplest way to help establish if your friend is fit to drive is to watch them drink. Observe your friend drink, keep a simple count of drinks, or pay attention to their drink to time ratio. Is your friend participating in a drinking game, or are they sipping a beer with their meal? Being an eyewitness to your friends drinking activity can protect them from conviction and even save their life. Be an active observer as you are out with your friends. Taking on this simple responsibility can have a large impact.

2. Slurred Speech

An impaired individual’s ability to speak will decrease congruently with their drinking. While the exact amount and the timing of this moment may vary by individual, it will eventually happen. This is one of the early signs of intoxication. Pull your friend way from the group or music and ask them direct and open-ended questions. Pay close attention to their responses and their ability to speak. Be candid and honest with your friends in these moments.

3. Difficulty Creating Structured Language

In the same private conversation, ask your friend to continue talking to you. Pay attention to sentence structure and grammar. Ask your friend to repeat some of the information they had just shared with you. Pay close attention to how they respond. If your friend has difficulty creating structured, balanced sentences and thoughts, they could be dangerous on the road. Too Drunk and Physically Limited 

4. Physically Limited

Watching your friends physical abilities after they have been drinking can be an easy read for most people. Gage their ability to balance, get up from a seated position at the table. Depending on the situation, throw them a ball at the BBQ, or watch them dance at a party. If they struggle with any of these activities they could be too intoxicated to drive. Image someone who is unable to complete any of these tasks trying to drive on the freeway or respond to unknowns on the road. Driving a manual car, for example, requires some coordination, motor skills, and focus. Click here to learn the effects of alcohol and the body and what really goes on.

5. Tiredness

Those who over drink might become tired. Alcohol is a depressant that affects your brain and body. As your body is working to deal with the increase of alcohol, your other bodily functions will begin to shut down. Similar to overeating, you might find a drinker wanting to dose, sleep, or pass out. Pay attention to your friend’s energy levels. As a depressant, alcohol will slow the whole body.

6. Nausea

As a drinker’s body begins to process a high amount of alcohol, it may reject anything after a certain point. Consuming alcohol can cause nausea, upset stomach, and even diarrhea. Many alcohols have low amounts of actual water, leaving drinkers dehydrated. Pay close attention to your friends as they begin to lose appetite or show signs of any of the mentioned symptoms. These are easy signs of inebriation.

7. Forgetfulness

The National Institute of Health, NIH, says that alcohol affects the brain in the following ways:
  • Interferes with the Brain’s communication pathways
  • Make it harder to think clearly
  • Harder to coordinate your thoughts and surrounds
These effects on the brain, during and after drinking, can cause forgetfulness. As stated earlier, take your friend to the side and ask them to tell you a story you both were involved in a few days ago, or ask them to tell you about the person they were just talking to. If they show signs of forgetfulness they could be intoxicated and too drunk to drive.

8. High and Low Emotional States High and Low Emotional States

Many people, because of alcohol’s effect on the brain, are open to a variety of emotional implications. Some become violent and irrational when they are too drunk. Others maybe become overly light-hearted. Even a third example could be given of an individual who goes from one polar emotion to another in a short time period. Observing your friends emotional state or emotional swings should be a trigger to kindly take their keys.

9. Reading 0.08

California state law prohibits operating a vehicle while reading 0.08. Staying safely below this standard should keep any friend safe. Know the drinking limits of a friend can prove to be invaluable. Helping a friend stay within the legal limit will have unknown benefits.

10. Difficulty Operating Technology

Another simple test or observation you look for before letting your friend drive is their ability to use technology. See how they operate their common apps, or even some simple texts. Another cool thing with technology is there are quite a few apps which can help prevent drunk driving by helping you know if you’re too drunk to drive.

Here are 7 Great Apps to Combat Drunk Driving

Only secondary to personal responsibility, it is a friend’s opportunity to protect a friend from danger or harm. Know these ten tells you will be able to have a fun and safe night with your friends this summer. Make a commitment to actively be engaged when you are with your friends that drink. For more information on DUIs and other drinking related laws, contact The Law Offices of Bradly Corbett. Photo by Sayot/ CC BY  

Bradley Corbett

Bradley Corbett is a criminal defense attorney in San Diego. He graduated from Brigham Young University in Provo Utah in 2004. Later he enrolled at Thomas Jefferson School of Law in San Diego where he participated in a prestigious internship program with the Los Angeles County Public Defender. Since then he has handled over 2,000 cases.

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Don’t wait until it is too late! Delaying or even denying yourself the counsel and strength we can provide you could have life changing consequences. Call us today and let an experienced San Diego criminal defense attorney help you protect your freedoms, life, and family.

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