Alcohol and its impact on driving abilities

In the closing weeks of a year many see as having gone off the rails, many people will undoubtedly feel like celebrating its end. Many Baton Rouse area drivers will attend holiday parties, and some of them may drink more alcohol than they should. Of course, alcohol compromises brain function, which impairs thinking, muscle coordination and reasoning. These are all essential abilities required for the safe operation of a motor vehicle.

The legal limit of blood alcohol content for adult drivers is .08, and Breathalyzers or blood tests are used to measure the BAC of drivers. However, any amount of alcohol can have adverse effects on a driver’s central nervous system. As the BAC rises, the negative effect increases.

Rising blood alcohol content affects the body and driving abilities:

  • .02 BAC: Produces slight body warmth, relaxation, altered mood and loss of judgment. Drivers experience visual function decline and loss of the ability to do two things at once.
  • .05 BAC: Causes decreased alertness, impaired judgment, impaired visual focus and lowered inhibitions. Drivers have problems tracking moving objects, steering, and they lack quick response to emergencies.
  • .08 BAC: Causes impaired hearing, balance, reaction time, vision and speech. Drivers experience loss of short-term memory, concentration, the capability to process information and impaired perception.
  • .10 BAC: Causes significant deterioration of control and reaction time, slowed thinking, poor coordination and slurred speech. Drivers become unable to brake appropriately and maintain lane position.
  • .15 BAC: Causes significant loss of muscle control, possible vomiting, loss of balance. At this BAC level, drivers’ vehicle control and driving abilities are substantially impaired, and the same applies for auditory and visual information processing.

Victims of a car accident resulting from another party’s impairment in Baton Rouge might have grounds for filing a personal injury lawsuit in a Louisiana civil court to pursue claims for monetary damages.

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