Blood alcohol concentration is a measure of the amount of alcohol in a person’s bloodstream, usually expressed as a percentage. As BAC increases, the effects of alcohol on driving ability become more pronounced, impairing various skills required for safe driving.
Consider these points about the effects of alcohol on driving ability based on BAC levels:
BAC 0.02% to 0.03%
At this level, drivers may experience a slight decline in visual functioning, such as the ability to track a moving object, and a reduction in the ability to multitask, which is essential for safe driving.
BAC 0.04% to 0.06%
Drivers may begin to experience a decline in coordination, judgment and concentration. Reaction times may become slower, and the ability to process information and make decisions may be impaired.
BAC 0.08% to 0.10%
At this level, which is considered legally intoxicated in most jurisdictions, drivers are likely to experience significant impairments in muscle coordination, reaction times and short-term memory. They may also have difficulty maintaining lane position, braking appropriately and perceiving the speed of other vehicles.
BAC 0.11% to 0.15%
Drivers with this BAC level are likely to experience severe impairments in motor control, balance and reaction times. They may also have difficulty concentrating, processing visual and auditory information and controlling their vehicle’s speed.
BAC 0.16% to 0.19%
At this level, drivers are likely to experience extreme impairments in reaction times, judgment and motor control. They may also have difficulty staying awake and maintaining consciousness.
BAC 0.20% and higher
With a BAC at this level, drivers are at risk of severe impairments in motor control, reaction times, and judgment, and may experience vomiting, blackouts or loss of consciousness. They are at high risk of causing a serious accident or fatality.
It’s important to remember that individual tolerance to alcohol can vary, and even low BAC levels may impair driving ability in some people. It’s possible that drivers may face criminal charges for impaired driving even if their BAC isn’t above the legal limit. Understanding their options for fighting the charges is crucial.