How Does Alcohol Affect a Driver?

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You recognize that drunk drivers are dangerous drivers, but you may not realize why they’re so deadly. While alcohol can seemingly affect people differently, its physical effects on the body are actually quite consistent – and dangerous in relation to driving.

If you’ve suffered an injury from a drunk driver, protect yourself and your claim by reaching out to a dedicated Greenville car accident attorney with extensive experience handling complex cases involving drunk drivers.

How Does Alcohol Affect Driving?

When it comes to how alcohol affects driving, NHTSA reports that it depends directly on the amount consumed.

.02 BAC

At .02 percent blood alcohol concentration (BAC), the driver experiences the following:

  • some loss of judgment
  • increased relaxation
  • a slight increase in body warmth
  • an altered mood

At the same time, the driver’s visual functioning declines, and they have more difficulty performing two tasks at once, which is a necessary function of driving safely. As the driver’s mood improves, their ability to drive safely declines, which is a dangerous combination that only gets worse from here.

.05 BAC

At .05 percent BAC, the driver may experience all the following:

  • a loss of small muscle control, such as the ability to focus one’s vision
  • impaired judgment
  • a lowering of inhibition
  • a general sense of feeling good

At the same time, the driver’s coordination is reduced – as is their ability to track moving objects, steer accurately, and respond to emergency driving situations. None of which bodes well in terms of driving safely.

.08 BAC

At .08 percent BAC – which is the legal limit in South Carolina and most other states – the driver can experience all the following:

  • decreased muscle coordination, which can affect vision, reaction times, hearing, speech, memory, and balance
  • a diminished capacity to detect danger and employ good judgment, self-control, and reasoning

At the same time, the driver’s ability to concentrate is affected, and they can have short-term memory loss along with impairments related to controlling the car’s speed and to processing critical information.

.10 BAC

At .10 BAC, the driver experiences a marked deterioration in both reaction time and physical control and may exhibit the following:

  • slurred speech
  • slowed thought processes
  • decreased coordination

These effects can make it difficult for the driver to maintain lane position and brake safely.

.15 BAC

At .15 BAC, the driver can experience all the following:

  • significant decreases in muscle control
  • significant loss of balance

At this point, the driver will be substantially impaired in terms of their ability to control the vehicle, attend to the matter of driving safely, and process the necessary visual and auditory information accurately.

Addressing Your Losses

If an impaired driver leaves you injured in a car accident, the losses – or legal damages – that you experience can be immense, including:

  • Property damage to your vehicle and its contents
  • Your medical expenses, which – if your injuries are  serious – may be ongoing
  • Your lost income, which may include a diminished earning potential
  • Your physical and emotional pain and suffering, which can have overarching consequences that hinder your recovery

Because your losses are likely to be significant, obtaining just compensation that addresses each category in its entirety is critical to your recovery.

How a Dedicated Car Accident Attorney Can Help

You’ve suffered an injury from a drunk driver, and the path forward is challenging, which makes it beneficial to have a dedicated car accident attorney on your side.

Your attorney will skillfully take on all the following critical tasks in pursuit of your claim’s best possible resolution:

  • Ensuring that you understand the legal process and helping you to make well-informed decisions that protect your rights throughout
  • Gathering the evidence necessary to prove the other driver’s negligence, which will include obtaining the police report and all information related to the drunk driver’s DUI charge
  • Obtaining eyewitness testimony
  • Clearly demonstrating the extent of your physical, financial, and emotional losses
  • Deftly negotiating with the drunk driver’s insurance company for a settlement that fairly addresses each category of loss you experience
  • Preparing to file a lawsuit and take your case to court in the face of any unfair dealings on the part of the insurance company

It’s Time to Consult with an Experienced Greenville Car Accident Attorney

At Dan Pruitt Injury Law Firm, we proudly serve Greenville, South Carolina and represent victims of their families hurt by drunk drivers. We have a lengthy track record of guiding challenging cases involving drunk drivers toward advantageous outcomes for our clients. and we’re here for you, too.

To learn more about how we can help, contact us or call us at 864-280-7660 today.

Drunk Driving Accident FAQs

How does alcohol affect reaction time?

Alcohol significantly increases reaction time, which flies in the face of safe driving. While any amount of alcohol can affect a driver’s reaction time, the effects become especially pronounced when the driver’s BAC reaches .10 percent.

Can I wait to consult with a car accident attorney?

If you have suffered an injury from a drunk driver, the right time to call a seasoned car accident attorney is right now. There’s too much at stake to leave your claim to chance.

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Get in touch with us today to get started with your FREE case review. We’re only a call, click, or short drive away.