It took three seconds, and three glasses of red wine on an empty stomach, for me to write off the car.
I was just over the legal blood alcohol limit and felt slightly tipsy, but I was confident I would at least be able to drive down the freeway without any mishaps.
But an obvious, silly mistake - pulling out from the emergency lane on to the freeway without looking in my mirrors - and the simulator I was driving jolted me around and the computerised landscape in front of me flipped upside down.
Although I was in a simulator, I still got a huge shock and it occurred to me I would not have been so careless had I been sober.
It also occurred to me that had it been real life, I could have killed myself or someone else.
The SimTech machine, the only simulator of its kind in the southern hemisphere, involves a real car surrounded by a panoramic screen which changes from freeway driving to a gravel road scenario and a skills test.
During my first attempt, while sober, I was extremely cautious and moved through the witches hats in the skills test about 20km/h.
Second time around, after downing three standard drinks within half an hour, I was far more aggressive, knocking over four domes, forgetting to change gears and skidding out on the gravel.
Paul Starling from SimTech remained calm in the passenger seat, pointing out that I was going 120km/h along the freeway and reminding me to change gears.
I knew I had been slightly erratic but I was still shocked afterwards when Mr Starling pointed out that I had fluctuated between 80km/h and 120km/h on the freeway and had trouble staying within the lanes.
After another two drinks, I blew a reading that would have seen me lose my licence automatically for six months and receive a hefty fine.
I got behind the wheel again and despite concentrating to the best of my ability, I couldn't stop from drifting to the right and after a couple of minutes I was hit by another car after unwittingly crossing lanes.
I would not consider myself a "lightweight". I'm partial to a couple of glasses of wine with dinner during the week and enjoy more than that on weekends.
But this experiment taught me I'm not as resilient to the effects of alcohol as I thought.
I initially found myself making excuses for my poor performance, blaming the strange environment of being in a simulator, the fact it wasn't a "real car" and the fact I wasn't used to driving a manual. But the truth was, alcohol had impaired my judgment and my ability.
The biggest lesson I learnt was about portion sizes - my interpretation of a "standard drink" is far different to the reality (100ml of wine), meaning that when I think I'm having one drink at the pub, I'm probably having one and a half - or more.
From now on, to be safe, I will be leaving my car at home.