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What are the effects of alcohol on drivers?

The more alcohol a person drinks, the more that person’s ability to drive is hindered. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), even a relatively small amount of alcohol, resulting in a blood-alcohol concentration of 0.02 percent, can diminish a driver’s ability to visually track a moving object or perform two tasks at once, such as driving and talking.

Tests have also shown that a BAC of 0.05 percent can impair coordination, reduce response time and cause difficulty steering. Of course, 0.08 percent is the legal limit for drivers in New York and throughout the U.S., but there has been a significant push in recent years to lower the legal BAC for operating a motor vehicle to 0.05 percent.

There is little debate over the effects a BAC of 0.08 percent can have on a driver. Memory, muscle coordination, concentration and information processing become impaired, and these impairments relate to a driver’s reaction time, vision, balance, speech and hearing. If an emergency road situation arises, a driver with a 0.08 BAC may not react in time to avoid a collision.

According to the CDC, once a driver’s BAC reaches 0.10 percent, the ability to maintain a lane and brake in time is significantly reduced. The driver’s speech is likely slurred; thinking is slowed; and coordination and reaction time are poor. A BAC of 0.15 percent can result in major loss of balance and muscle control, as well as substantial impairment of visual and auditory processing.

These effects of alcohol are probably not surprising. Still, according to Mothers Against Drunk Driving, a person dies every 53 minutes on average in a DUI crash.

If you or a loved one has suffered injuries in a drunk driving accident, then a personal injury attorney with experience in this area of law can assess your case and explain your options for receiving compensation.

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