The Effects of Alcohol on Driving Ability

A glass of alcohol and a set of car keys next to it.

BAC and The Impact on Road Safety

BAC, or blood alcohol concentration, measures how much alcohol is in your bloodstream. And the higher your BAC level, the more impaired your driving skills will be. But what does that mean in terms of actual numbers? BAC levels below .08 are considered legal for driving in the U.S. (except for Idaho at .05). However, at that point, your ability to operate a vehicle is already impaired. You may have trouble steering, braking, and reacting to traffic signals and other drivers. Read on to learn more about the impact of driving while under the influence of alcohol and road safety.

How BAC Levels Impair Driving Ability

There are many effects of blood alcohol concentration (BAC), and they vary depending on a person's size, weight, age, and sex. Generally speaking, the higher a person's BAC is, the worse the effects will be. Here's how each BAC level affects driving ability.

  • 0.02 BAC: You will feel relaxed and maybe a little lightheaded. Your judgment, self-control, and reaction time begin to decline.
  • 0.05 BAC: You will feel more relaxed, and your behavior may become exaggerated. You may have trouble paying attention and processing information. Your coordination and balance will be impaired.
  • 0.08 BAC: You will feel signs of euphoria, impairing your judgment and reasoning skills. You may have trouble controlling your emotions and body movements.
  • 0.10 BAC: You are considered legally intoxicated in all states. This is the level at which penalties begin for DUI or DWI offenses. You will feel more pronounced effects, including impaired coordination and balance, slurred speech, and vomiting.
  • 0.15 BAC: You will feel very intoxicated, with severely impaired coordination, balance, and judgment. You may experience blackouts and nausea.
  • 0.20 BAC: You will feel highly intoxicated, with little to no coordination or balance.

It’s important to understand that there is no “safer” level of intoxication when behind the wheel. Any BAC level increases the risk of a severe motor vehicle crash.

What Can You Do To Keep Everyone Safe?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that roughly 28 people in the United States die in drunk-driving crashes every day — that's one person every 52 minutes. There is only one solution to stop drunk driving accidents — don't drink and drive. If you're out with friends, designate a sober driver. If you find yourself in a situation where you need to get home but don't have a sober driver, call a cab or rideshare service such as Uber or Lyft.

Injured in a Drunk Driving Crash? We Are Here For You.

The aftermath of a drunk driving accident often means dealing with catastrophic injuries that can impact your life for the long or short term. When a driver decides to get behind the wheel after consuming alcohol and causes others harm, they should be held accountable for their careless actions. The attorneys at Grewal Law PLLC are here to help you seek justice.

Learn if you are eligible to obtain financial compensation for your losses. Schedule a consultation with an attorney at Grewal Law PLLC by calling (888) 211-5798 today.

Related Posts
  • Distracted Driving Law to go ‘Hands-Free’ in Michigan Read More
  • Identifying Black Ice Read More
  • Staying Safe for the New Year Read More