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Understanding Blood Alcohol Concentration and Its Impact on Driving

Understanding Blood Alcohol Concentration and Its Impact on Driving.jpgUnderstanding blood alcohol concentration (BAC) and its impact on driving can be complex. There are several factors that go into determining how much alcohol a person can consume before becoming legally intoxicated. Below is an overview of how a person's BAC can impact their driving.

Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol

Alcohol is a depressant that dramatically decreases a driver's response time. It impairs the function of the central nervous system delaying brain function. Blood alcohol content (BAC) refers to the amount of alcohol in a person's body measured by the weight of alcohol within his/her blood. Alcohol is absorbed through the stomach and small intestine goes into the bloodstream and then travels throughout the body to the brain. Alcohol is known to affect a driver's hand and eye coordination, cognitive and processing skills. Consuming alcohol prior to driving greatly increases the chance of being involved in a car accident, or being pulled over and arrested for a DUI in Ann Arbor.

So how much alcohol can you legally consume without being arrested for driving under the influence? It depends. For example, if you are taking certain medications, consuming a glass of wine can make you legally impaired. The amount of alcohol consumed prior to a driver becoming impaired depends on his/her weight, gender, and how much food is in his/her stomach. Typically, an alcoholic beverage equals about half an ounce of alcohol. A half an ounce of alcohol is found in one shot of a distilled spirit, a 5-ounce glass of wine, or a 12-ounce glass of beer. How fast alcohol is consumed will impact a person's BAC. In addition, if food is in a person's stomach while drinking, the absorption process will be slowed. This often makes it difficult to determine exactly when you are impaired. Many people make the mistake of believing they are fine to drive and get behind the wheel.

If you have been charged with a DUI in Ann Arbor, contact my law office for representation. I can review the facts of your case and provide you with legal guidance and advice on how to proceed. I may be able to have your criminal charge reduced or completely dismissed.

Driving Under the Influence of a Controlled Substance

Driving under the influence of a controlled substance is just as dangerous as alcohol. Drugged driving poses some of the same dangerous results as driving under the influence of alcohol.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's (NHTSA) National Roadside Survey, more than 16% of the weekend, nighttime drivers tested positive for illegal, prescription, or over-the-counter medications (11% tested positive for illegal drugs). In 2009, 18% of fatally injured drivers tested positive for at least one drug (illegal, prescription and/or over-the-counter).

Contact my law office for representation in an alcohol or drug-related driving offense. I provide criminal representation in Washtenaw County as well as some courts in Wayne County.


A Guide to Understanding Blood Alcohol Concentration and Alcohol Impairment


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