Even a Trace of Alcohol is Dangerous to Drivers in California
By Michael Verna on May 15, 2016
Drivers with just a trace of alcohol in their system put themselves and other drivers, passengers and pedestrians at risk.
In California and throughout the country, it is illegal for drivers to operate a vehicle with a blood alcohol content level at or above 0.08, states the Governors Highway Safety Association. However, drivers who get behind the wheel of a car with a BAC level below this legal limit still put themselves and others at risk of incurring catastrophic injuries in a collision. According to ABC News, those who drive a vehicle with a BAC level of just 0.01 increase their odds of being involved in a deadly or fatal collision. This is because drivers who are slightly intoxicated are more likely to speed and also more likely to collide with another car.
How alcohol affects drivers
Alcohol affects a person's ability to drive safely at almost every level of intoxication. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, drivers with a BAC level of:
- 0.02 may experience an altered mood and some loss of judgment and may lose their ability to track moving objects and effectively perform two tasks at the same time
- 0.05 may have a hard time steering the vehicle they are driving, experience a reduced response to emergency driving situations and experience a reduction in their coordination
- 0.08 may experience short-term memory loss and impaired perception in addition to difficulties controlling their speed and processing information
- 0.10 may experience a reduction in their ability to stay in their lane while they travel down the road and brake in an appropriate manner
When drivers reach a BAC level of 0.15, they may have far less control over their muscles than normal and experience a major loss of balance. Additionally, drivers who are intoxicated to this point may experience a substantial decrease in their ability to process visual and auditory information, control their vehicle and pay attention to what they are doing behind the wheel.
Drunk driving accidents occur often
Drivers in California and throughout the country sustain injuries or are killed in drunk driving accidents regularly. According to the CDC, nearly 30 people in the U.S. die every day in accidents involving an impaired driver, a number which equates to approximately one death every 51 minutes.
Drivers in California who are involved in a collision caused by a drunk driver may incur injuries that harm their ability to perform basic tasks for themselves, go back to work or school or participate in activities that they enjoy. If you were injured in an accident involving an intoxicated driver, speak with an attorney to find out what compensation may be available to you.