Were you involved in a car crash caused by a drunk driver this past Labor Day weekend? If so, you are not alone. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, each day 29 individuals lose their lives in collisions involving a drunk driver, and this number only increases on holidays such as Labor Day where drinking is common.
Most people in the Tulsa area already know that if your blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) is at or above the legal limit of 0.08%, you are too impaired to safely drive. However, did you know that even if your BAC is below the legal limit, you could still be too impaired to safely operate a motor vehicle, possibly leading to a car crash?
Driving with a BAC below the legal limit is still dangerous
Say you only had about three drinks, and your BAC is 0.05%. You are below the legal limit, so you should be safe to drive, right? Not necessarily.
With a BAC of 0.05% you may find that your coordination and ability to follow moving objects on the road is reduced. You may also find it harder to manipulate the steering wheel of your vehicle. You may also find it more difficult to respond to emergency situations on the road. Any of this can lead to a car accident that injures or kills another person.
Even a BAC of 0.02% can be dangerous
However, what if you only had about two drinks, and your BAC is only 0.02%? You may be surprised to find that even having a couple drinks can impair your driving abilities.
With a BAC of 0.02%, you may find it more difficult to track moving targets. In addition, performing more than one object at a time or otherwise divide your attention between two tasks becomes more difficult. These impairments can lead to a drunk driving crash, even though you were below the legal limit.
Ultimately, no amount of alcohol is safe while driving
It may be safe to say that if you plan on drinking, plan for a safe way home. Either ride with a designated driver, call a taxi or ride-sharing service or stay where you are until you are sober. Unfortunately, too many people in Oklahoma overestimate their ability to drive safely after drinking and will end up causing a serious or even fatal drunk driving accident. If you were injured or lost a loved one in just such a crash, you will want to take the steps necessary to better understand your legal rights and options moving forward.