How does a small alcohol amount affect drivers?

On Behalf of | Jan 12, 2021 | Car Accidents

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, every state in the United States makes it illegal for someone to drive with a .08 blood alcohol level or higher. This is because high alcohol levels can impair a driver’s ability to control a vehicle. But as the NHTSA also explains, even a low level of alcohol may negatively affect driving skills.

Everyone has different levels of alcohol tolerance. A person with a lower tolerance threshold may pose a danger to you on the road even if that person’s BAC level is only .05. Here is a look at how a person with a mild alcohol level may perform while behind the wheel.

BAC level of .05

A person who ingests enough alcohol to reach this level may exhibit issues that interfere with good driving. These include a lack of restraint on risky behavior or problems with judgment. Some small muscles may also suffer deficiencies in control such as not being able to focus the eyes.

As a result, a driver who approaches you with a .05 BAC level might have trouble tracking your movements. If the driver does not see you in time, he or she might not react quickly enough to slow down the vehicle or steer away from you. A .05 BAC level can cause problems with steering a vehicle in general or to coordinate different actions while driving.

BAC level of .02

You might think someone with a lower BAC level of .02 is safe from alcohol-induced problems. In reality, even drivers with this low level might suffer losses of concentration, muscle control and problems with judgment. It may also cause a change in mood like excessive relaxation that makes it hard to handle a serious change in situation.

These deficiencies can cause a person to have problems following a moving target. So if you are out driving, a person with a .02 level might lose track of your movements. Also, a .02 level can impair someone’s ability to do two tasks at once. This can increase the risk of distracted driving. The possibility of impaired driving even from a low amount of alcohol is something all motorists should be aware of.

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