A single instance of indiscretion can have a major impact on your life if you receive a DWI charge. No one plans on getting a DWI after a fun night out with friends and family, but it is a very real possibility if you consume too much alcohol.
Every drink you consume will increase your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) further. Elevated BAC affects response time and coordination, which makes it more likely you will experience an accident. Here are a few key points to consider to ensure safety behind the wheel.
How BAC affects reaction time
Quick reaction time is crucial when driving, as it allows you to identify hazards and make split-second decisions on evading them. When a person has a BAC of .08%, which is the legal limit when driving, reaction time may decrease by one tenth of a second.
While that might not seem like very much time, it can have a huge impact on safety. Consider this: when traveling at 70 mph, decreasing reaction time by one tenth of a second means that a driver will go an extra 12 feet before stopping when faced with a road hazard.
Why standard drink sizes matter
BAC corresponds to how much a person has to drink. For example, two drinks cause BAC to rise to about .02%, while it typically takes about four drinks before reaching a BAC of .08%. Alcohol potency has a direct impact on standard drink sizes, as well as BAC.
When it comes to beer, which usually consists of 5% alcohol, the standard size is 12 ounces. As for 80 proof liquor, which is 40% alcohol, the standard size is 1.5 ounces. Wine is in the middle at 12% alcohol. Accordingly, a standard serving of wine measures five ounces.
A little preparation can go a long way at preventing DWI. On nights where you plan on drinking, make sure you have safe transportation home. Calling a cab, using a ride-share, or enlisting a sober driver can spare you from legal issues and ensure your safety, as well as the safety of other motorists.