Drinking and Driving

Most people are aware of the dangers of drinking and driving and make arrangements for transportation if they are going to an event where there will be “revelry,” such as having a designated driver or using a ridesharing service. But those same responsible drivers don’t always realize that even going out to dinner or to a friends and having a couple of glasses of wine or beer can also result in deadly alcohol-related crashes.

In CA, if a person is pulled over by police and registers a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08 or higher, they will be charged with driving under the influence. While each state has its own drunk driving laws, they all involve loss of license, heavy fines, and potential jail time as penalties for conviction.

There have been extensive studies conducted regarding alcohol consumption and driving a vehicle, as a car accident attorney like one from Barry P. Goldberg, A Professional Law Corporation, can explain. All these studies conclude that a person’s gender, weight, and the type and strength of alcohol the person has drank. For example, many people may not realize that a 5-ounce glass of wine, a 12-ounce beer, and a 1.5-ounce shot of 80-proof liquor all have the same alcohol content. Many drivers also don’t realize that consuming just one or two of these drinks within an hour can have an impact on their driving ability. The following is a breakdown of that impact:

·       One drink: BAC result of .02 to .03, which causes decrease in judgment

·       Two drinks: BAC result of .04 to .05, which causes slower reaction times

·       Three drinks: BAC result of .06 to .07, which causes both reason and judgment to be less reliable

·       Four drinks: BAC result of .08 to .09, which is now over the legal limit, causing vision, speech, balance, and hearing to be noticeably impacted

·       Five drinks: BAC result of .10 to .11, which causes difficulty in walking and control of body movements

Studies have also shown that even minor amounts of alcohol can increase a driver’s chance of being injured in a crash. Even with one drink, a driver’s body feels the effects, even if the driver is unaware of those effects:

·       Overcorrecting when a driver error is made

·       Drifting or swerving in and out of the driver’s own lane

·       Distracted driving, missing traffic signals or signs, or environmental cues (i.e. sun setting, and headlights should be turned on)

·       Running off the road onto sidewalks

·       Reckless driving behaviors

Drunk Driving Crashes

Tragically, more than 10,000 people are killed each year in drunk driving accidents and another 300,000 suffer serious injuries. If you or a loved one has been injured in a drunk driving crash, call our office today to speak with a car accident attorney and find out how we can help.