As we head into the heart of the holiday season, it is important to remember that for many people, holiday celebrations and alcohol are often intertwined. Unfortunately, too many people fail to heed the warnings of the dangers of drinking and driving – often with tragic results.
There are several factors which affect how alcohol affects a person’s blood alcohol content (BAC), including their gender, weight, the strength of the type of alcohol they are drinking, and the size of the drink.
Many people make the mistake of thinking certain types of alcohol are “safer” to drink when they are driving. For example, many people don’t realize that a five-ounce glass of wine, a 12-ounce beer, and a 1.5-ounce shot of 80-proof whiskey all have the same alcohol content and can have the same impact their ability to drive.
- One of any of these three drinks will result in a BAC of between .02 and .03, which can decrease a person’s inhibitions and judgment.
- Two drinks will result in a BAC of between .04 and .05 and can slow a person’s reaction time.
- Three drinks will result in a BAC of between .06 and .07, which can make a person’s reason and judgment less reliable.
- Four drinks will result in a BAC of between .08 and .09, putting a driver over the legal limit. A person’s balance, vision, hearing, and speech are all significantly impacted.
- Five drinks will result in a BAC of between .10 and .11, which can make walking and controlling body movements difficult.
More than 10,000 people are killed each year in alcohol-related crashes, with more than 300,000 other victims suffering serious injuries. Study after study reveals that even small amounts of alcohol can greatly hamper a driver’s ability behind the wheel. The effect alcohol can have on that ability begins with the very first drink. Some of the most common behaviors include:
- Distracted driving and missing important road, traffic, or weather cues;
- Drifting and swerving in and out of their lane;
- Overcorrecting in response to driving errors;
- Reckless driving behaviors, such as disobeying traffic signals and speeding; and
- Running off the road and onto sidewalks or ditches.
Drunk Driving Accident Victims
In North Carolina, more than 400 people are killed every year in drunk driving crashes. For those victims who are fortunate enough to survive alcohol-related crashes, the injuries they suffer often cause long-term or life-long disabilities. Victims of drunk driving accidents should contact a skilled North Carolina car accident attorney to find out what their legal options are for the pain and losses they have suffered.