How does alcohol affect driving ability?

On Behalf of | Mar 21, 2022 | Criminal Defense |

Drinking and driving can cause numerous problems. In addition to increasing your risk of an accident, driving under the influence can also lead to legal issues, including jail time and fines.

No one ever sets out to drink and drive, but it is an unfortunately common circumstance. By understanding how consuming alcohol affects blood alcohol concentration (BAC), you can take steps to avoid legal issues and other poor consequences.

Three drinks

Three drinks might not seem like very many, but they can quickly raise your BAC to .05%. Coordination, steering ability, and alertness all decrease after just three drinks. Drivers can also experience challenges with visual processing, including tracking moving objects with their eyes.

Four drinks

It takes approximately four standard drinks to reach a BAC of .08%. As the legal driving limit, all motorists with a BAC of .08% or greater will experience arrest. In terms of driving ability, motorists experience a loss of short-term memory, decreased concentration, and difficulties with perception.

Five drinks

Consuming five alcoholic beverages leads to a BAC of .10%. Speech becomes slurred, the driver cannot maintain lane fidelity, and their reaction time slows down. Being able to react quickly is crucial to responding to road hazards in the appropriate manner, which helps you avoid accidents.

Seven drinks

Significant impairment occurs by seven drinks, and most people will have a BAC of .15% at this point. The ability to process visual and auditory information significantly decreases, as does muscle control.

Keep in mind that different types of alcohol have different levels of potency. That means that drinking more than the standard drink size for a specific type of alcohol can lead to you becoming inebriated at a much faster rate.