How does BAC affect driving?
With the holidays right around the corner, the risk of drunk driving will also increase. It can be difficult to gauge the impact alcohol has on your driving ability, until it is too late. That is why it is important to understand how alcohol impacts your blood alcohol concentration (BAC).
Breathalyzers measure BAC to determine whether a driver is at the legal limit of .08%. Getting to this point is a lot easier than you might think, as explained by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Understanding drink sizes
Drink sizes vary based on the potency of the alcohol being drunk. If you are drinking beer with 5% alcohol content, a standard-sized drink is 12-ounces. If you are drinking wine, which has a 12% alcohol content on average, the standard size is five ounces. And with a liquor containing 40% alcohol content, the standard size is 1.5 ounces, also known as a shot.
How the number of drinks affects BAC
Four drinks will increase your BAC to the legal limit of .08%. By this stage, you will experience problems with speech, impaired muscle coordination, and loss of short-term memory. Judgement and reasoning are also impaired, which decreases your ability to make good decisions.
By five drinks, your BAC will elevate to .10%. You will find it difficult to remain within your lane of traffic. You may also find braking more challenging due to your decreased reaction time and impaired coordination.
Seven drinks brings your BAC up to .17%. Information processing will be affected, as will the ability to pay attention while driving. You will also lose control of your muscles and experience a loss of balance.