Most people in Costa Mesa and other parts of Orange County probably are aware that a person who has a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08 or more is legally drunk. If that person chooses to drive, he or she faces the possibility of criminal penalties and is also on a practical level, putting other motorists in danger.
While it is the law, to some extent, the .08 limit is more of a line in the sand. Scientifically, alcohol in one's system can start affecting his or her ability to drive well before a person's BAC gets to the .08 legal threshold.
In fact, by the time someone reaches .08, their everyday behavior will likely give away the fact that they have been drinking. However, even at lower BAC levels, like .05 or even .03, a person's driving can be inhibited, even to the point of being dangerous.
For example, by a time a typical person reaches .05 BAC, he or she will likely have a hard time steering straight. His or her ability to focus on the road and respond to emergencies will also be inhibited.
This is one reason why those who are operating commercial vehicles, which have a much higher potential to cause major damage after an accident simply on account of their weight, are legally prohibited from operating such vehicles at .04 BAC. If they choose to do so, they can face the possibility of penalties, including not being allowed to operate commercial vehicles.
Moreover, such drivers also put those with whom they share the road at risk. Even if they are not legally drunk, commercial operators with significant alcohol in their systems still could easily make errors that can have devastating results. These drivers can be held financially accountable for truck accidents that they cause.