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Even a Couple of Drinks Increases Car Accident Risks

Posted on in Personal Injury

San Jose car accident attorney, car accident risks, DUI, driving impairments,  drunk driving accidentsWhen out for an evening with friends or at other social events where alcohol is served, one may develop different strategies to prevent being pulled over and cited for driving under the influence (DUI). Unfortunately, studies show that even modest amounts of alcohol can result in serious driving impairments, making potentially life-threatening car accidents and injuries more likely to occur.

The Effects of ‘a Few Drinks’

If you are pulled over when driving in San Jose and appear visibly intoxicated or register a .08 blood alcohol content (BAC), then you will be charged with a DUI under the California Vehicle Code. Penalties include heavy fines, mandatory community service and counseling, potential jail time, and the loss of your driving privileges. To avoid this, many limit alcohol consumption to just a few drinks. Still, even modest amounts could put you and other drivers in danger.

The American Automobile Association (AAA) has done extensive studies regarding alcohol use and driving. Numerous factors contribute to a high BAC level, such as gender, weight, and the strength or size of the drink you are imbibing. A 12-ounce beer, a 5-ounce glass of wine, and a 1.5-ounce shot of 80-proof liquor all have the same alcohol content, and even having one or two of these drinks over the course of an hour impacts your driving ability:

  • One drink: Results in a BAC of .02 to .03, decreasing your judgement and inhibitions.
  • Two drinks: Results in a BAC of .04 to .05, slowing your reaction times.
  • Three drinks: Results in a BAC of .06 to .07, making both judgment and reason less reliable.
  • Four drinks: This puts you over the legal limit, with a BAC of .08 to .09. Hearing, speech, vision, and balance are noticeably impacted.
  • Five drinks: At a BAC level of .10 to .11, you will have difficulty walking or controlling body movements.

Having six drinks or more during the course of an hour puts you at risk for serious health concerns. These include passing out, falling into a state of unconsciousness or coma, and developing blood alcohol poisoning.

Any Amount of Alcohol Increases Injury Risks

According to studies conducted by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), even minor amounts of alcohol increase your injury risks while the greater your BAC, the more likely you are to be involved in a fatal accident. Beginning with the very first drink, traffic crash research show the following behaviors become more likely:

  • Swerving and drifting in and out of your own lane;
  • Running off the road and onto sidewalks or ditches;
  • Overcorrecting in response to driving errors;
  • Distracted driving and missing important road, traffic, or weather cues;
  • Reckless driving behaviors, such as speeding and disobeying traffic signals.

Sadly, the NIH reports that an estimated 10,000 people are killed in drunk driving accidents each year in the U.S., while close to 300,000 suffer serious injuries. If you or someone you care about has been involved in this type of accident, contact Jachimowicz Law Group and request a free consultation with our skilled San Jose car accident attorneys today.

Sources:

https://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/arh27-1/63-78.htm

http://duijusticelink.aaa.com/for-the-public/get-educated/alcohol/

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