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Even small amounts of alcohol endanger other drivers

When drivers get behind the wheel with a blood alcohol content below the legal limit, they can still endanger others.

Many drivers in Connecticut assume that if their blood alcohol content is lower than the legal limit of 0.08, they are not endangering the lives of others on the road with them. However, even small amounts of alcohol in the body can impact a driver's ability to drive safely and make him or her more likely to cause a serious car accident.

The effect of alcohol on drivers

When drivers reach the legal BAC limit of 0.08, they experience poor muscle coordination, have a harder time detecting danger and experience issues with judgement. This makes drivers with a BAC level this high more likely to have issues with speed control, memory, perception and concentration while behind the wheel of a vehicle.

With a BAC level of 0.05, drivers may exhibit exaggerated behavior, experience impaired judgement and have a harder time with their alertness. While driving, having a BAC level at this point can impact coordination, steering and response times to emergency driving situations. When drivers have a BAC level of just 0.01, drivers may experience some loss of judgement and an altered mood. This makes drivers with this BAC level more likely to experience a decline in their visual functions and ability to perform two tasks at once.

Important statistics

In a study released in 2011, it was discovered that even drivers who are slightly "buzzed" are more likely to cause dangerous accidents on the road. This is because drivers with a BAC level even well below the legal limit are more likely to:

  • Driver faster
  • Not wear a seatbelt
  • Drive the vehicle at-fault for an accident

Researchers also concluded that accidents are 36.6 percent more severe even if the alcohol could barely be detected within a driver's bloodstream, which prompted the researchers to conclude no amount of alcohol in the bloodstream is safe while driving.

The scope of the problem

Drunk driving accidents are extremely common on the roads in Connecticut and throughout the rest of the country. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 28 people die in the U.S. every day after being involved in an accident caused by a drunk driver.

Those who are injured in a drunk driving accident may experience severe mental, emotional and physical harm. For this reason, drunk driving accident victims should contact an attorney in their area for legal assistance so they can move forward with the recovery process.

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*AV Preeminent and BV Distinguished are certification marks of Reed Elsevier Properties Inc., used in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell certification procedures, standards and policies. Martindale-Hubbell is the facilitator of a peer review rating process. Ratings reflect the confidential opinions of members of the Bar and the judiciary. Martindale-Hubbell ratings fall into two categories - legal ability and general ethical standards.

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