When you anticipate drinking at the party you plan on attending, the first thing you should do is to make arrangements to have someone else give you a ride back home. You have many options in California including asking a friend who plans to remain sober, planning to use a rideshare company or even planning to stay the evening at the place where the party is happening. While taking a few drinks and then driving yourself home may not seem too harmful at first, drinking and driving can immediately endanger your life and those around you. 

The consequences of choosing to drive under the influence can be significant and cause long-term effects in your life that may never go away. You could be facing fines, your license could be suspended, you may total your vehicle and most seriously of all, you could end up injuring or killing yourself, your passengers or other motorists. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, a blood alcohol content level of .08 or higher is illegal and punishable by law. 

Some of the ways that your ability to drive is impaired by drinking beforehand include the following:

  • Inability to maintain focus on certain tasks such as maintaining your lane or braking when you need to.
  • Decreased awareness that affects your ability to process information and recognize visual hazards. 
  • Reduced effectiveness at being able to multitask and make responsible decisions. 
  • Impaired perception that may affect your response to other vehicles or hazards in the road. 

The information in this article is intended for educational purposes only and should not be taken as legal advice.