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Whether someone is drunk isn’t always measured by BAC

On Behalf of | Mar 31, 2020 | Car Accidents |

You may be like many others here in Fort Walton Beach who think that as long as a person’s blood alcohol content is less than 0.08% then they aren’t drunk. While having a BAC of 0.08% or higher does make a person legally intoxicated, BAC levels below that percentage does not necessarily mean that a person is safe to drive.

Alcohol affects everyone differently. Even people who can “hold their liquor” still may have trouble keeping track of other vehicles, diminished judgment and more. Understanding better just how alcohol generally affects people could help you and make you more aware of the behaviors of drivers on the road with you.

Here’s what could happen at 0.02% BAC

Of course, the only way to make sure that alcohol does not affect your ability to drive is not to drink any and then get behind the wheel. Even one or two drinks, which would put your BAC at around 0.02%, could have an adverse effect on your driving ability as indicated below:

  • Your mood alters.
  • You may feel warm.
  • You may feel relaxed.
  • Your judgment begins to decline.
  • Your ability to multi-task declines.
  • Your visual acuity starts to decline.

As you can see, even with just two drinks, you could find yourself having trouble focusing on the road as much as you need to in order to drive safely.

Here’s what could happen at 0.05% BAC

Once you have three drinks, things begin to noticeably go downhill as follows:

  • You usually feel pretty good at this point.
  • Your inhibitions begin to drop.
  • Your behavior becomes exaggerated.
  • You could have trouble focusing your eyes, along with other small muscle control issues.
  • You aren’t as alert as you were.
  • Your coordination becomes compromised.
  • You aren’t steering your vehicle as well.
  • Your ability to track objects diminishes even further.
  • Your ability to react to emergencies declines.

At this point, you become a danger to yourself and others, but the law wouldn’t consider you legally drunk yet.

Here’s what happens if you encounter someone with a BAC below 0.08%

If it surprises you just how much of a danger a person with a BAC below 0.08% could be to you, you aren’t alone. The other driver may not think he or she presented such a danger until the collision occurred. You do not lose your right to pursue compensation for your injuries and other damages just because the individual did not meet the legal BAC threshold for drunk driving.

Police arrest individuals all the time who they consider drunk even without a 0.08% BAC since there are other indicators of impairment. Therefore, you still have the potential to prove negligence on the part of the other driver if he or she has any alcohol in his or her system at the time of the crash.