Our Virginia personal injury law firm has reported on countless of accidents that were the result of someone getting behind the wheel of a vehicle after drinking. Many people who make that decision don’t realize how little alcohol it takes to affect a driver’s ability to operate a vehicle safely.
Clemson University provides a breakdown of the effects of specific blood alcohol levels (B.A.C.) on their website.
· BAC of 0.02 – 0.03% (about two drinks): No loss of coordination, slight euphoria and loss of shyness. Begins to lose their sense of judgment.
· BAC of 0.04 - 0.06% (about three drinks): Feeling of well-being, relaxation, lower inhibitions, sensation of warmth. Some minor impairment of reasoning and memory, lowering of caution. Inhibitions decrease and spontaneity becomes more common.
· BAC of 0.07 – 0.09% (about four to five drinks): Slight impairment of balance, speech, vision, reaction time, and hearing. Begins having difficulties assessing dangers and rewards because of their brain's lessening ability to pay attention to bad criticism. Also the belief that person is functioning better than they actual are.
· BAC of 0.10 – 0.125% (about six drinks): Begins to have problems maintaining balance, especially side to side. Aggressiveness also increases at this point. Significant impairment of motor coordination and loss of good judgment. Speech may be slurred; balance, vision, reaction time and hearing will be impaired. Euphoria.
· BAC of 0.13 – 0.15% (about seven drinks): Gross motor impairment and lack of physical control. Blurred vision and major loss of balance. Euphoria is reduced and dysphoria (anxiety, restlessness) is beginning to appear. Judgment and perception are severely impaired. Nausea and vomiting are often experienced at this point. The toxins within the body are being expelled by the stomach.
· BAC of .20% (about ten drinks): of 0.20% (about ten drinks): Person feels dazed, confused or otherwise disoriented and may need help to stand or walk. At this point, blacking out may occur. One's memory is significantly altered, if not completely debilitated. The gag reflex is impaired and person can choke if they begin to vomit.
· BAC of 0.25% (about 12 drinks): All mental, physical and sensory functions are severely impaired. Increased risk of asphyxiation from choking on vomit and of seriously injuries from falls or accident.
· BAC of 0.35% (about 18 drinks): This level of impairment is comparable to the amount one would experience under surgical anesthesia. Coma is possible.
· BAC of 0.40% (about 20 or more drinks): Gag reflexes are blocked, so this is the stage in which people choke on their own vomit. Onset of coma and death due to respiratory arrest.
The Virginia personal injury lawyer perspective:
With prom and graduation season just around the corner, the attorneys at our firm hope that parents who may read this post share this information with their teens. More facts and statistics can be found at ‘Fairfax County Teen Drunk Driving During Prom & Graduation Season’.
If you or someone in your family has been a victim of a drunk driver, contact a Virginia personal injury law firm to find out what compensation you may be entitled to for pain and loss. Our firm has successfully represented many clients, including a $300,000 award for a young woman who was struck by a drunk driver while walking on the sidewalk.
To learn about what types of damages are available through a personal injury claim, take a moment to read this article which discusses the possibility of obtaining damages to compensate for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.