Travis Noble, P.C. | Attorneys At Law
Travis Noble, P.C. | Attorneys At Law
Travis Noble, P.C. | Attorneys At Law

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Understanding BAC levels and driving impairment

On Behalf of | Mar 26, 2024 | BAC

Blood alcohol concentration (BAC) measures the amount of alcohol in the bloodstream. Each increment presents distinct risks and impairments to driving abilities. The effects of alcohol at various BAC levels can significantly compromise a driver’s capacity to operate a vehicle safely.

Even BAC levels below the legal limit of .08% can have major effects on a person’s driving abilities. Consider these general impacts a person may experience after imbibing alcohol.

0.02% BAC

At this very low level of intoxication, drivers may experience a slight decrease in visual functions and a decline in the ability to perform two tasks simultaneously. This might translate to slower reaction times and difficulties in making correct decisions quickly on the road.

0.05% BAC

At this level, there is reduced coordination, reduced ability to track moving objects, difficulty steering and a slower response to emergency driving situations. Drivers might have trouble with eye movement control, which is critical for judging distances and responding to potential hazards.

0.08% BAC

At 0.08% BAC, muscle coordination becomes poor, leading to difficulty detecting danger, impaired judgment, self-control, reasoning and memory. Drivers are likely to experience significant impairment in controlling speed, processing information like signal detection or visual search, and in perceiving or remembering the specific elements of the driving environment.

0.10% BAC

Drivers clearly show deterioration in reaction time and control at this level. There is a noticeable decline in the ability to maintain lane position and to brake appropriately. Slurred speech, poor coordination, and slowed thinking are common.

0.15% BAC

At this concentration, the driver suffers major loss of balance, substantial impairment in vehicle control, attention to driving tasks and in necessary visual and auditory information processing. The risk of a fatal crash is extremely high at this point due to severe motor impairments and lack of physical control.

Drivers who face drunk driving charges should ensure they seek out legal representation to determine how to proceed with their defense strategy. In some cases, various signs of impairment may be brought up by the prosecution, so knowing how to address that concern effectively may prove critical to the outcome of a case.

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Travis L. Noble is a graduate of the National College for DUI Defense at Harvard University, and he lectures at seminars nationwide on DWI/DUI topics. He is the lawyer whom other lawyers consult to defend their DWI clients. Most importantly, he has a track record of successfully defending some of the toughest DWI cases in Missouri and beyond.

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