Most people understand that drunk driving is illegal. Although you know alcohol can affect some of your actions, it may be difficult to tell how many drinks will affect your driving.

You might think it is safe to slide into the driver’s seat after celebrating a special occasion or having a few beers with friends. However, before you reach for another drink, you might want to think about more than the potential legal consequences of a driving under the influence (DUI) arrest. Any amount of alcohol can impair your driving abilities through:

Hindered judgment. Depending on how much you drink, you may not be able to decipher likely problems on the road and respond to them accordingly.

Slowed reaction time. If the car ahead of you brakes unexpectedly or an animal runs out into the street, a delayed reaction could mean the difference between getting home safely and ending your evening with a catastrophe.

Blurred vision. Alcohol can reduce your peripheral vision and decrease your ability to determine the distance between vehicles.

Decreased coordination. Motor skills are necessary for controlling a motor vehicle. Since alcohol reduces your coordination, you may not be able to swerve out of the way or hit the brake in time to avoid an accident.  

To date, alcohol-related incidents have claimed 4,208 lives statewide this year. Keeping that in mind, while observing the holidays, you can choose to designate a sober driver to help keep yourself and those around you safe while protecting your criminal record.

However, if you get arrested for allegedly misjudging your limit, there may be a way to reduce your penalties and maintain your driving privileges.