Many factors outside of your control can increase your risk of getting charged with an impaired driving offense.

For example, you might receive service from a bartender who offers up heavy pours with more liquor than normal in drinks in the hope of securing better tips. There could be health factors that you don’t know about that reduce your metabolism and thereby slow the process of breaking down the alcohol in your bloodstream.

Even if you feel like you are okay to drive, you could potentially still fail a breath test if you get pulled over by the police. What can you do to more accurately track the amount of alcohol in your body?

There are apps and digital calculators to help you

Generally speaking, an average adult can metabolize roughly one drink’s worth of alcohol per hour. That means one serving of beer, wine or liquor. A large glass of beer or a mixed drink may have multiple servings of alcohol in it.

You can use apps or calculators online to determine your likely blood alcohol content (BAC). It is important to know how much alcohol is in the beverage in order to estimate when you will be safe to drive after drinking it.

Chemical breath testing may not be that reliable

Some restaurants and bars have chemical testing stations that can estimate your blood alcohol concentration and let you know if you aren’t safe to drive yet. Some people who frequently socialize at places that serve alcohol may go so far as to purchase their own portable breath test system.

Both publicly accessible systems and a pocket devices you carry could have accuracy issues that leave you at risk. If your testing unit shows that you are safe to drive, it’s possible that you could still get pulled over by police and have a higher BAC when they test you.

Always have a back-up plan for getting home during a night out

An extra round of drinks, briefly forgetting that you skipped lunch for the day and a host of other factors could all contribute to your drinks having a stronger impact than you initially anticipated. If you feel the effects of alcohol or if you notice that other people with you show signs of impairment, those are red flags that may indicate you shouldn’t drive yourself home.

Taking a cab or calling a friend for a ride are better options than gambling with your safety. If you do wind up in a situation where you face impaired driving charges, remember that you have the right to ask for a lawyer and to defend yourself against those charges.