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Fort Myers Criminal Defense Lawyer / Blog / DUI / Distressed driving can look like drunk driving

Distressed driving can look like drunk driving

Have you ever gotten into a car after a heated argument with your spouse? The stress and anger feel uncontrollable, and your body starts to shake as you squeeze the steering wheel in frustration. You may think a drive is all you need to clear your mind.

Your mental state can get you charged with a DUI, even when you are just yelling at a stoplight. In Florida, an officer could consider you intoxicated by your reckless and outrageous misconduct. You do not have to be drunk.

How do your emotions interfere with your driving?

The intensity of your emotions directly interferes with how aggressively you drive. In a study done by the United States federal government, these factors stood out the most:

  • Stress: When a person is experiencing elevated levels of stress, they are more likely to make unpredictable changes in their speed while driving. Sudden stops are more frequent and do lead to car crashes because of the driver’s erratic movements on the road.

  • Sadness: When a person cannot stop overthinking once overcome with sadness. Your mind goes deep into your problems. There is a much higher chance your inattention will lead to an accident. It is just like driving distracted.

  • Tiredness: High-speed driving demands more mental awareness. When you are so tired and desperate to get home, you have a greater tendency to get into a car crash.

Another thing to consider is how these factors can affect your alcohol tolerance. A stressed and tired person may not realize that one glass of wine has already increased their blood alcohol content (BAC) to that of illegal standards.

Stress and sadness are not illegal

We really cannot control these feelings. They are a part of everyday life. We can control, however, how these feelings can be used against us. The fines and penalties when convicted of a DUI are harsh. You should have an experienced attorney who can assist in easing the added anxiety and frustrations that come with DUI charges. Drunk driving may be illegal, but it is not against the law to be stressed.

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