It is illegal in every state to operate a motorized vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08% or higher. States use different terms such as DUI (driving under the influence), DWI (driving while intoxicated), DWUI (driving while under the influence) or DUID (driving under the influence of drugs), but regardless of the term, it basically means the same thing.
If you are operating a motorized vehicle while you are impaired by alcohol or drugs you could face severe penalties including: fines, imprisonment, high insurance rates, parole, community service, and forced alcohol education.
So is it okay to have one drink and drive? Maybe you can drink two drinks and still be safe behind the wheel? Alcohol affects individuals differently and may be absorbed at different speeds, causing various levels of impairment. Let’s take a look at the common affects of alcohol at various blood alcohol levels:
• BAC Level .01 to .03%
If you are an average person of average weight and build and your BAC is .01% to .03% you may appear normal. Physical and mental impairments are limited although some specialized DUI tests may detect a small reduction in your ability to multi-task and perform visual tests.
• BAC Level 03 to .06%
If your BAC is between 0.03% and 0.06% you will begin to feel very calm. Concentration, alertness and judgment began to be impaired as you become more relaxed, less inhibited, more talkative or more euphoric.
• BAC Level .06 to .10%
If you reach this level of intoxication there will be clear physical indications that you are intoxicated. Your reflexes and reasoning will be compromised as well as your ability to see distances and peripherally.
It is estimated that once you reach 0.08% BAC, you are more than 11 times more likely to have a DUI accident.
• BAC Level .11 to .20%
If your BAC is 0.11% to 0.20% you are likely to have severe loss of motor control, slow and slurred speech and slow reaction times. You may also experience severe behavioral changes in your mood or expressions. Driving with this level of impairment is extremely dangerous.
• BAC Level 0.20% and higher
If your BAC is 0.20% or higher it can be dangerous, especially as your BAC approaches 0.30% or higher. Death, alcohol poisoning, loss of consciousness, blackouts and substantial motor impairment is not unusual at these BAC levels.
What does this mean for you? You must understand your body and how alcohol, even one drink, will increase your BAC. Absorption rates can be affected by a person’s body mass, muscle composition, metabolism, dehydration levels, age, and tolerance levels.
It can be fine to responsibly drink and have a good time, but drinking too much (which for some people may be only one drink) and getting in the car can have deadly consequences for you or other drivers.
Hiring a DWI Lawyer
If you have been arrested for DUI there may be help for you. DUI lawyers understand DUI laws and have helped thousands of DWI offenders.
DUI laws and penalties have increased over the last several years. Now more than ever it is important to have a DUI lawyer. Even one DUI arrest can severe consequences for you and your driving record.
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