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If you understood the effects of BAC, would you still drive?

Blood alcohol concentration is the level of alcohol in your system. Basically, it is the weight of alcohol in a certain volume of blood.

The effects of BAC on your body can be measured by a breathalyzer or blood test. The legal limit for drivers anywhere in the U.S. is a blood alcohol concentration reading of 0.08 percent, but you will feel the effects of drinking at much lower levels. Even then, would you believe you are okay to drive?

The risks

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that about a third of all deaths from vehicle crashes are related to drunk driving. In the decade from 2006 to 2016, more than 10,000 people were killed in drunk driving accidents each year. In 2016 alone, one person died every 50 minutes in the U.S. due to drunk driving.

The effects

The NHTSA has prepared a table showing the effects of drinking based on the grams of alcohol per deciliter of blood.

  • .02 percent: Relaxation, decline in visual function, decreased ability to make sound judgments
  • .05 percent: Impaired judgment, trouble focusing, exaggerated behavior, problem steering
  • .08 percent: Poor coordination and reaction time, impaired judgment, difficulty in detecting danger, difficulty in processing information
  • .10 percent: Slurred speech, slow thinking, deterioration in control and reaction time
  • .15 percent: Significant impairment in performing normal tasks, deterioration in muscle control, loss of balance

The penalties

A criminal defense attorney experienced in assisting drivers arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence will tell you that the state of Michigan is serious about getting drunk drivers off the road.

If you are charged with DUI and convicted, you will face fines, loss of your driver's license, mandatory participation in an alcohol treatment program and even the possibility of jail time. Men are more likely to be arrested for DUI than women, but anyone who operates a vehicle should be aware of the effects of alcohol and the dangers of driving drunk.

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