When you hear people talk about the risks of drunk driving, they often refer to the legal limit of .08 percent. This blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level can lead to a DUI arrest for someone who takes a breath test or a blood test.
As a result, people often act like this percentage is some sort of hard cutoff where driving suddenly becomes dangerous. They act like you’d be perfectly safe at .07 percent and then a high risk at .08 percent.
The reality, experts say, is that even a small amount of alcohol still increases the risk of a car accident. Someone can be below the legal limit and still put others in danger.
For instance, if someone drinks two standard beers — 12 ounces — and weighs around 160 pounds, odds are that their BAC could only reach about .02 percent. This is if they drank those beers in an hour. They could still drink far more before reaching the .08 percent limit.
However, that person is still 1.4 times as likely to get in a car crash, compared to a person who has not consumed any alcohol. That’s a drastic difference and can sometimes be the difference between life and death.
Because of this, people who study car accidents sometimes complain that having a legal limit is deceptive. It tells people that drinking and driving are safe if they do not pass that limit when the opposite is actually true.
Have you been hit by a drunk driver? If so, you may be able to seek compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering and much more.