â??Usually when I go out, Iâ??ll have a margarita with my dinner and I feel okay to drive after that,â?? Simone Francis said.How many drinks are too many to get behind the wheel and a device where you can check your blood alcohol level yourself?"Last year 219 people were killed and over 3500 people were injured in traffic crashes that involved a drunk or impaired driver in the state of Missouri," said Sergeant Brent Bernhardt with the Missouri State Highway Patrol.According to Sgt. Bernhardt, in the state of Missouri, 27 percent of all fatal traffic crashes are a direct result of a driver that has been drinking or using drugs. The legal limit of alcohol intoxication in the state of Missouri is .08.
"When you think about driving in its simplest form it can be divided into three tasks,â?? Sgt. Bernhardt said. â??The first thing is your perception; what you see when you're driving. The second thing is your judgment and the third thing is that action that you have to take while you're driving."You may have heard of themâ?|portable breath tests, that you could easily give yourself if you have been out drinking. But, Sgt. Bernhardt does not recommend using them."(When) the Missouri State Highway Patrol uses a breath testing instrument they're certified breath testing instruments that are tested each month with the Department of Health, so we know the breath testing machines that we use are very, very accurate."We gave Chuck Thomas and Simone Francis the breath test before they begin drinking and both blew a .0. Simone began drinking her wine and Chuck began taking shots of his 80 proof alcohol. The device instructs you to wait 20 minutes after you've been drinking to take the test â?|and we did that. After taking several shots and drinking a few glasses of wine, both still blew .0.After about 40 minutes of drinking about 4 glasses of wine, Simone finally blew a .02. For Chuck, after taking four shots of 80 proof alcohol, he still blew a .0.So, the device does work, but it seems to have its downfalls."Our encouragement to people is that if they choose to drink that they never get behind the wheel of a car, because any amount of alcohol in your system can cause some type of impairment,â?? Sgt. Bernhardt said.