Effects of Drunk Driving
The effects of drunk driving go beyond just the legal ramifications of getting stopped by the police and facing DUI charges. Driving with any level of impairment can increase the chances of an accident or death. While the legal limit for blood alcohol content while operating a motor vehicle is .08 percent, that doesn't mean that driving with some alcohol in the system is as safe as driving sober.
Studies on the topic have found that the negative effects of drunk driving don't always start right at that .08 percent BAC that is the accepted legal threshold. Response times and visual impairment can slow even under the .08 blood alcohol content threshold. They aren't always noticeable impairments, but the data indicates that such drivers could have their judgment or physical abilities impaired enough that an emergency driving situation could keep a driver from reacting as quickly as possible.
Of course, of the main effects of drunk driving can be an arrest for DUI. If you are faced with DUI charges, and would like to talk to someone about how a conviction could affect your future, complete the free form on this page.
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The Effects of Alcohol on the Body
A number of studies have tried to determine the effects of alcohol on reflexes and vision, based on the blood alcohol content of the driver.
Below the Legal Limit
Some studies show that even with a BAC of .02, a driver's vision can begin to decline, and a loss of judgment can set in. These impairments might not even be noticeable, and it often only takes a single drink to reach a .02 blood alcohol limit.
When the blood alcohol level gets up to .05 percent, the effects of alcohol become more obvious. The impaired person can't focus their eyes as quickly as they can in a sober state, and their alertness level is lower, as well as their inhibition level. While it may not represent a legal definition of impaired driving, some believe that at the .05 BAC level, a driver's physical coordination is compromised, as well as the ability to following moving object, the ability to steer and the means to respond to unexpected situations.
Above the Legal Limit
At the .08 blood alcohol level, there is firm agreement from studies on the subject that here is a much greater chance that they will get into a car accident. Self-control, judgment, vision, speech, hearing, reaction time and balance are compromised, making for unsafe driving conditions and a high level of driver impairment.
In the end, alcohol effects each person differently. Alcohol tolerance levels can vary, as some are sensitive to its effects while others might not have the same experience. In the eyes of the law, however, a .08 blood alcohol level means that a driver is legally impaired, and can be charged with a DUI. While a field sobriety test may still be administered, if a blood or breath test shows a BAC at .08 or higher there can be legal ramifications.
Talk to a DUI Lawyer
If you have questions about the effects of a drunk driving charge, and what the legal effects could be, think about talking to a local DUI attorney about your options. You can get a free case evaluation when you fill out the form below and we'll connect you with a nearby DUI attorney right away.