It may seem as if having a drink or two of alcohol before you drive a short distance in Minnesota is not a big deal. However, any amount of alcohol consumption can potentially alter your decisions and driving behavior. 

In fact, impairment begins after just one drink

Effects of alcohol

You may not react to a drink the same way your friend does because weight, gender, age, food and water consumption and a number of other factors that affect alcohol absorption. In your brain and his, though, similar processes are going on. For example, you may both have difficulty judging speed and distance, and your reaction time may be slower. These issues alone could put you and others at risk. 

Law enforcement officers take their duty to keep drunk drivers off the road seriously. If an officer suspects that you are impaired, you could end up with a DUI charge.

Consequences of drunk driving

Although the penalties for driving under the influence can be stiff, you may think you can live the with a first-time DWI offense on your record. However, it is not an offense that you should take lightly. At the lowest level, a DWI conviction is a misdemeanor. At the highest level, it is a felony. A DUI charge can potentially send you to jail and get you a criminal conviction that can follow you all through life. You also risk losing the right to operate a motor vehicle for a certain length of time and risk higher driving requirements and auto insurance rates after you have your driving privileges restored. 

Drinking alcohol may be one of the ways you and your friends relax and unwind. Just keep in mind that you should have a designated driver or alternate transportation plans in place before you do, so impaired judgment does not lead you to get behind the wheel afterward.