You can be impaired without being legally drunk

Post on behalf of Thomas J. Ueberschaer PA on Wednesday December 21, 2016

You might already know that you would be considered legally drunk if your blood alcohol content reached .08 or higher. What you might not know is that you can still be impaired, and probably should not be driving, even before your BAC reaches the legal limit.

Like other Florida residents, you might think that as long as you are not considered legally drunk, that it is okay to be driving. This mistaken belief leads to serious or deadly car accidents.

At what point should I not be driving?

After just a couple of drinks, when your BAC is as little as .02, you could begin to have trouble driving. Even with a .02 BAC, these are the effects of those drinks:

  • Relaxed and warm feeling
  • Altered mood
  • Slight decline in judgment
  • Decline in visual function
  • Lower ability to multi-task

You might be able to pass a field sobriety test at this point, but driving requires your vision and the ability to do more than one thing at a time. If you have another drink, your BAC could spike up to .05, and the following behavioral and physiological changes occur:

  • Lowered alertness and inhibitions
  • Exaggerated behavior
  • Impaired judgment
  • Some loss of muscle control and reduced coordination
  • Difficulty tracking moving objects
  • Reduced ability to steer and react to emergencies

You might agree that driving under these conditions would not be safe, yet people do it.

Can I still prove negligence in a civil claim if the other driver was not legally drunk?

That is where an attorney comes into the equation. Your attorney will need to investigate how the accident itself occurred. Your lawyer will also need to scrutinize the activities of those involved in the hours prior to the crash to establish that, even if the other driver’s BAC did not reach .08, he or she should not have been driving.

With combined legal experience of nearly 30 years, the attorneys at Thomas J. Ueberschaer, P.A. will determine whether the events prior to your car accident contributed to it. If a thorough investigation reveals that the driver responsible for your injuries or for your loss of a family member had even two or three drinks, negligence might be established.

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