While the world churns and bubbles with political fermentation and sporting competitions, the rest of us are trying our best to maintain our balance… and sometimes, that means our blood alcohol concentration (BAC), too. People tend to drink more when stressed, and the more we “stress drink,” the more we may be gearing up for a DUI. A word of caution: get your facts straight about drunk driving, BAC and DUI before your year gets any more frustrating.
There is no safe BAC limit, but there is a legal BAC limit.
Across the U.S., the per se BAC limit is .08 percent. In some states, you can even be convicted of a drunk driving charge at a lower BAC, usually between .05 and .08 percent. The lower BAC limit in those cases illustrates that even a “buzzed BAC” can be dangerous enough for law enforcement to pull you over and charge you with drunk driving. When you’re buzzed, you are already having trouble with your focus and coordination. Your reaction time is slow, too. All of that can add up to a traffic accident or worse, and all of that is before you’re legally drunk.
- The risk of a drunk driving crash is 1.38 times higher with BAC of .05 percent (compared to no BAC).
- At .08 percent (the legal, per se limit), the risk is 2.69 higher.
- That risk is five times higher at .10 BAC.
There is perhaps no better time to make sure you have control over your own body than now, and that means staying at a safe BAC level. Losing the ability to walk, talk or focus means that you cannot and should not drive. Between the Super Bowl and other screaming headlines, the last thing you want in 2017 is a DUI, ignition interlock device and a loss of your own freedom. Instead, make a commitment to safe, responsible driving, and a less stressful year for everyone.