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How Your Car Crash Risk Goes Up with Every Alcoholic Drink

December 7, 2020

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Did you know that you can be under the legal limit of intoxication and still put yourself, your passengers, and other drivers at risk when you get behind the wheel? Furthermore, did you know that even small amounts of additional alcohol when you’re already over the limit can significantly increase your risk of a crash? When it comes to drinking and driving, every sip counts—in a bad way, of course. Alcohol is a poison, and while it may produce subtle effects after you drink a small amount, those effects can compound and worsen with additional intake until crashing your vehicle or getting pulled over is almost a foregone conclusion.

After a Few Sips of Alcohol (0.02% BAC)

You didn’t even finish an entire beer, glass of wine, or cocktail, but your body and brain are already feeling the effects of the alcohol. You’re experiencing:
  • Slightly impaired judgment
  • Relaxation
  • Reduced ability to track moving objects
  • Reduced ability to multi-task
Although you’re not over the legal limit, make no mistake—your driving abilities have been affected!

After Roughly 1 Drink (0.05% BAC)

Having a beer or glass of wine with dinner is common, and few people give it a second thought. After all, there’s no way they’re over the legal limit. But again, even a small amount of alcohol is affecting your brain and nervous system. Here’s how it happens:
  • It’s harder to focus your eyes
  • Your judgment is further impaired
  • Your inhibition is reduced
  • You become less coordinated
  • You don’t react as quickly or properly in emergency driving situations
At this level of intoxication, you won’t get a ticket (unless you’re underage), but your driving ability is already declining.

After Around 2 Drinks (0.08% BAC)

Two alcoholic beverages consumed in a relatively short time is enough to put most people at or slightly above the legal limit. When your BAC reaches 0.08% or higher, you can get arrested for DUI, and your chance of crashing increases even more. You’ll experience:
  • Further impairment of judgment, self-control, reasoning, and memory
  • Decreased ability to detect danger
  • Greater difficulty maintaining a consistent speed
  • Problems focusing and concentrating
When you’re legally over the limit, you’re officially guilty of drunk driving and all of the dangers and legal ramifications it carries.

After 3 to 4 Drinks (0.10% BAC)

Maybe you split a bottle of wine with dinner, or you ordered one more beer than you planned. Whatever the case, you’re now approaching binge drinking. Here’s what you’ll feel:
  • A clear deterioration of reaction time and control over your vehicle
  • Slurred speech, slow thinking, and impaired coordination
  • Reduced ability to maintain your lane and brake at the right times and distances
  • Swerving and other obvious signs of driving while intoxicated
Police are often on the lookout for drivers with this level of intoxication. Even when they feel “in control,” their vehicle movements betray them. Their unsteady driving means they’re equally unsteady avoiding crashes.

After 5 or More Drinks (0.15% BAC)

With a BAC this high, you’re noticeably drunk to the people around you. If you get behind the wheel of your vehicle, you may find it extremely difficult to drive in a straight line, let alone to handle the challenges of driving. If you drive with this BAC level, you’ll experience:
  • Loss of balance and coordination while standing
  • Vomiting
  • Substantial impairment to ability to control vehicle
  • Further reduced attention span and focus on driving
  • Impaired processing of road markers, signs, and other vehicles

We Help Drunk Driving Victims in Ohio

There are few things more selfish and dangerous than getting behind the wheel after drinking alcohol. As the information above shows, it’s important to be aware that driving even when you’re legally under the limit can still be dangerous. Driving is a highly complex and demanding task, and alcohol affects every aspect of the brain and body that are required while behind the wheel. Unfortunately, drunk driving is still extremely commonplace in the U.S. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says that one person was killed in a drunk driving crash every 50 minutes in America in 2018. That means that even if you never drink and drive, you’re still at risk of being hurt in a drunk driving crash. If that happens to you or someone you love, know that the Ohio car accident lawyers at Nurenberg, Paris, Heller & McCarthy are here to help. We have no sympathy for drunk drivers, and we fight to hold them liable for their victims’ injuries and suffering. Contact us today for a free consultation—it’s our goal to get you every penny you deserve.

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