Debra L. Broz

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The effects of blood alcohol concentration

On Behalf of | Aug 29, 2018 | car accidents

AAA reports that a leading cause of car accidents in Kentucky is driving under the influence of alcohol. More than half of the crashes due to driving while intoxicated happen during the weekend and evening hours. Four times as many fatal accidents occur at nights as during the day. Injuries due to a car crash with a drunk driver can change the lives of everyone involved.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the number of drunk driving fatalities has fallen since the 1980s. Despite this, alcohol-impaired crashes still occur every day, claiming more than 10,000 lives in the U.S. each year. Alcohol impairs thinking, muscle coordination and reasoning. Gender, body weight and body fat percentage are among the factors that dictate how alcohol affects an individual, regardless of the number of drinks consumed.

There may not be noticeable signs of impairment in drivers. For those with a 0.020 percent to 0.039 percent blood alcohol concentration, inhibitions are somewhat lower, and an individual is relaxed. At this level, there are no depressant effects. However, by the time the BAC level is between 0.06 percent and 0.099 percent, vision, speech and balance are impaired. Reasoning and memory are affected, and judgment is reduced. The legal limit for determining if drivers are under the influence is 0.08 percent in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.

Individuals with a BAC level above 0.10 percent have slurred speech, poor coordination and slower reaction time. These factors affect the ability to maintain lane position and to control a vehicle on the road.