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Does a driver have to have a BAC of 0.08 to be dangerous?

After a long day at work, you may stop at your local hangout for a drink with friends or go to your favorite restaurant for dinner with family and have a drink. You know better than to drink too much since you don't want to drive drunk.

While this is a good strategy, you still need to remain aware of how alcohol affects you. Even one or two drinks could jeopardize your ability to drive safely. Even if your blood alcohol concentration does not exceed 0.08, which is the legal limit here in Louisiana, you may still have a dangerous impairment.

What happens to you and your body at different BACs

Alcohol affects everyone differently. Factors such as age, height and weight can make one drink enough for one person to get tipsy while it takes you two or three. The type of alcohol you drink also makes a difference. A shot of liquor has more alcohol than a beer, for example. As you continue to drink, the following happens:

  • When your BAC is between 0.02 and 0.03, you may feel relaxed, a little euphoric and a little lightheaded. At this point, your inhibitions begin to decrease.
  • When your BAC reaches somewhere between 0.05 and 0.06, your behavior becomes exaggerated, the euphoria increases, your inhibitions decrease further, and your reasoning and memory begin to show signs of impairment.
  • At 0.08 to 0.09, your faculties continue to decline, and you are legally drunk under state law.

As you can see, even under the legal limit, you could pose a danger to yourself and those who share the road with you. Any loss of control of your faculties could increase your chances of causing an accident. For this reason, the best course of action would involve abstaining completely if you intend to drive.

You can't control other drivers

You can control whether you drink and drive, but you can't control others. Even if another driver who caused you serious injury in an accident is not legally drunk, he or she could still be dealing with a dangerous impairment. In some cases, such drivers still face criminal charges, even if their BAC is not 0.08, so you could still pursue compensation for your injuries and other damages in a civil court action as well.

Any sign of impairment in the other driver could have played a significant role in the accident that injured you. Whether he or she faces criminal charges for DUI does not necessarily matter when it comes to the filing of a personal injury claim, since any consumption of alcohol could affect the ability to drive safely.

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