Drunk driving-related accidents are on the rise across Canada. One issue in determining whether you’re capable of driving after a few drinks is understanding your blood alcohol concentration (BAC). In Alberta, if your BAC is 0.8 or above, you are considered drunk in the eyes of the law. If you get caught driving in this condition, you could be charged with impaired driving – an offence that could result in steep fines, seizure of your vehicle and possibly even jail time.
Many people believe they have the ability to accurately judge whether they’re legally drunk. However, there are some common misconceptions about how to make this determination. In this post we aim to clear up three of these myths:
Myth #1: Men have a higher alcohol tolerance than women.
While it may be true that many men have a higher tolerance than many women, the distinction is not based on gender, but rather on height and weight. Generally, a short, slight person will reach the legal limit more quickly than a tall, heavy person.
Myth: #2: My experience is an indicator of my tolerance level.
Perhaps you had four beers on a recent pub crawl with your friends and didn’t feel the slightest bit inebriated. It might be true that your BAC on that day was below the legal limit, and you would have been able to drive. But this incident shouldn’t set the standard for you every time you drink. Many factors influence the way your body reacts to alcohol on a given day. If you’re fatigued or stressed, didn’t eat much that day, are taking prescription medication or are in a high altitude, these details can all make you drunker faster.
Myth #3: Two drinks can’t make me drunk.
When considering a drink’s potential for inebriation, it’s not just the quantity that matters – it’s also the alcohol concentration of the drink and the speed at which you drink it. Downing two shots in quick succession will have a different impact on your body than nursing two beers over the course of an evening.
Facing impaired driving charges can be a serious matter. Bear the above tips in mind to help keep you safe behind the wheel and out of trouble with the law.