Many people know that drinking and driving is not a good mix. They understand that it is against the law to have a few too many drinks and then get behind the wheel of a car. However, many drivers in Orange County probably don’t really understand the physiological effects of drinking. It is these effects that can make it so dangerous to drive after having just a few alcoholic beverages.
A person’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is the amount of the alcohol in the volume of the person’s blood. In California and every other state, a BAC level of 0.08% is the legal limit for driving. In other words, if a person’s BAC is 0.08% or higher, the person is intoxicated and cannot legally drive. But, a person can still be impaired, and thus should not be driving, even if his or her BAC is less than 0.08%.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, at a BAC of just 0.02%, a person can experience a relaxation, loss of judgment, and an altered mood. This can result in the person not being able to do two things at once, and the person may also experience a loss in visual functions. Both of these are problematic when it comes to operating a motor vehicle.
At 0.05% BAC, the alcohol can affect drivers by reducing their coordination and their ability to spot moving objects. Moreover, at this BAC level, the alcohol may cause a person to have difficulty steering and be unable to properly respond to emergency driving situations. At the legal BAC limit of 0.08%, a person may have poor muscle coordination, poor judgment and be less able to detect danger. These physiological effects can relate to a lack of concentration behind the wheel, poor speed control of the vehicle, impaired perception and other problems.
Drinking and driving is a form of negligence that leads to far too many auto accidents in Orange County and everywhere else in the country. Even what seems to be a relatively small amount of alcohol can impair a person’s ability to drive, which can cause a fatal car accident if her or she chooses to get behind the wheel. Anyone who has experienced the loss of a loved one or suffered injuries at the hands of a drunk driver knows that drinking and driving are never a good combination.
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Effects of Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC),” Accessed on July 30, 2015