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Can I Have Just One Drink and Be Safe To Drive in Las Vegas?

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Everyone understands the risks involved in driving while intoxicated. Alcohol impairment significantly increases reaction times, reduces awareness, and skewers judgment. Yet, many insist they are perfectly fine to drive after one drink. The problem is that one’s own judgment of whether they are fine to drive becomes altered after one drink.

Alcohol DUI Nevada

There is no “drunk driving” charge in Nevada. A driver need not actually be drunk to be charged with a DUI. As long as an officer reasonably believes a driver to be impaired, they may make an arrest. Although blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08% or higher authorizes a police officer to carry out an arrest, officers can arrest anyone they reasonably believe to be driving impaired. 

Impairment is a reduction of normal functioning and skill. In the context of driving, it translates into unsafe road behavior, such as swerving, improper lane changes, and following too closely, all of which can lead to liability for injuries caused in a DUI crash.

This means that you can have a BAC of less than .08% and still be arrested for DUI. How? BAC test results are not the only forms of evidence of impairment available. Law enforcement may use many types of evidence to show that you were driving while under the influence of alcohol, including:

  • Traffic cam footage
  • Social media footage
  • Dashcam footage
  • Witness testimony
  • Testimony of bar or restaurant staff
  • Field sobriety test

BAC is simply one indicator. Yet, many believe they can’t be arrested with a BAC below .08%. In reality, it doesn’t always matter what your BAC is when other evidence of impairment is present. 

Is It Safe To Drive After One Drink?

Undoubtedly, many have driven after one drink for many years without an accident, injury, or DUI charge. However, their success doesn’t make the practice safe. Regardless, the practice of consuming alcohol before driving is a custom that society has decided to permit as long as consumers practice self-restraint. 

For instance, most restaurants offer some sort of alcoholic accompaniment to their dishes. Given that most diners drive to dinner, it is reasonable to assume that many will be driving after consuming alcohol. 

After paying the check, two questions arise: 

  • Can the driver operate the vehicle in a reasonably safe manner?
  • Is the driver’s BAC below .08%?

If the answer to either of those questions is no, the driver should not get behind the wheel. 

How Long To Wait?

Ultimately, the question becomes, “How long should I wait to drive after having one beverage?” The answer depends on various factors, including:

  • What type of drink you had
  • Your body weight
  • Your health
  • Your age
  • The presence of medication in your blood
  • Genetics

In every case, it is simply a bad idea to drive immediately after finishing an alcoholic drink. Studies show that BAC levels peak about an hour to ninety minutes after consumption, meaning your BAC levels are still rising after your last sip. 

Food also has an impact on impairment. Drinking one alcoholic beverage on an empty stomach can cause significantly higher levels of impairment than if it was consumed with food, as the alcohol is absorbed more rapidly into the bloodstream. 

You Can’t Turn Back The Hands of Time

You can’t change the past, but you can certainly prevent a DUI in the future. Although many people can and do operate a motor vehicle after drinking one alcoholic beverage, they risk catching a DUI charge or causing a DUI car accident. Waiting a while after having a drink is always the safest option and effectively keeps you out of trouble with the law.

Contact Our Las Vegas Car Accident Lawyers at De Castroverde Accident & Injury Lawyers For Help Today

If you’ve been injured in Las Vegas, NV, and need legal help contact our Las Vegas personal injury attorneys at De Castroverde Accident & Injury Lawyers to schedule a free case evaluation today.

De Castroverde Accident & Injury Lawyers – Las Vegas Office
1149 S Maryland Pkwy, Las Vegas, NV. 89104
(702) 222-9999
Open 24 hours

De Castroverde Accident & Injury LawyersSummerlin Office
410 S Rampart Blvd, Ste 480 Las Vegas, NV. 89145
(702) 297-6373
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De Castroverde Accident & Injury LawyersHenderson Office
9555 S Eastern Ave, Las Vegas, NV. 89123
(702) 997-4264
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Areas We Serve

At De Castroverde Accident & Injury Lawyers our personal injury lawyers serve the following localities: Angel Park, Anthem, Boulder City, Downtown Las Vegas, East Las Vegas, Gibson Springs, Green Valley, Henderson, Lake Las Vegas, MacDonald Ranch, McCullough Hills, Mission Hills, Paradise, Peccole Ranch, Queensridge, Reno, Seven Hills, Smoke Ranch, Spring Valley, Summerlin, The Lakes, The Strip, Whitney, and more.
We also represent accident victims in Oakland, CA.

About Our Firm

De Castroverde Accident & Injury Lawyers, located in Las Vegas, NV, is a personal injury law firm established over 30 years ago.
We have 100+ years of combined experience securing hundreds of millions for injured people throughout Nevada. If you’ve been injured due to someone else’s negligence, contact us today to discuss your case.

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