There are many things that you need to think about when you are heading out for the evening. Where you will go, who you are going to meet up with and what you are going to do are often the primary concerns. You need to add one more to that — how you will get home.

If you know that you are going to drink alcohol, make sure that you plan accordingly. You need to avoid driving home if you can help it. If you do try to drive, your abilities will likely be impacted by the alcohol.

How are driving abilities affected?

Alcohol is absorbed into the body through the small intestine and stomach. As it is absorbed, it affects the central nervous system. While the legal driving limit for adults who are legally able to drink is .08 percent, the effects of alcohol start long before this point. Your ability to focus, react, make judgments and multitask are all impacted by alcohol. All of these skills are important while driving because they work together to keep you driving safely.

Why is drunk driving such a big deal?

When you drive drunk, you are putting your own life at risk. You are also putting other people on the road at risk. The chance of fatal or serious accidents is one of the reasons that there are drunk driving laws. From a legal standpoint, drunk driving is a big deal because it is illegal and can mean that you have to face criminal charges and administrative penalties if you are caught driving after having a few drinks. If this happens, an attorney can help ensure your rights are protected.

Source: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, “Drunk Driving,” accessed Aug. 16, 2017