You Can't Tell How Drunk You Are When You're Around Other Drunk People

You might think you're a good judge of your own inebriation, but according to a recent study, we actually determine our state of drunkenness based on the people we're drinking with.

Photo by cff 5_3.

The study, conducted University of Cardiff researchers, and published in the journal BMC Public Health, performed breathalyser tests and surveys on over 1800 revelling people to see how accurate their judgement was. The researchers found that it wasn't the number of drinks participants had that guided their judgement, but how much their friends were or were not drinking.

Basically, we tend to "rank" ourselves based on the people around us. If your friends all seemed fairly sober, you're more likely to report being more drunk than you really are -- even if you all drank the same amount.

And more importantly, if your friends all seem to act more drunk than you, you're more likely to report being less drunk than you actually are. This can be dangerous if you assume you're sober enough to drive because you're "acting the least drunk".

Don't take any chances. Go with a designated driver, or call an Uber or cab instead.

A rank based social norms model of how people judge their levels of drunkenness whilst intoxicated [BMC Public Health via ScienceOfUs]


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