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BAC Level Readings based on Bottles of Beer Consumed

BAC Level Readings based on Bottles of Beer Consumed

Americans love to drink and drive – this is embedded in the nation’s culture. Proof and the reason behind this is shown by Barron H. Lerner, MD, PhD in his book, titled, “One for the Road.” This is the reason why many Americans still drive while under the influence, despite the risk of a DUI or DWI charge that is punished by heavy fines and imprisonment.

Driving under the influence (DUI) or driving while intoxicated (DWI), however, is a serious traffic offense, whether the charge is a misdemeanor (for first time offenders and without causing any property damage or physical injury) or a felony (imputed on repeat offenders, or first time offenders whose blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level is way above the 0.08% limit, for those with a child passenger or who injures/kills someone in an accident) .

Based on a blood alcohol concentration measurement chart released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the following number of beer bottles would result to the following BAC level (This measurement caters to a 160-pound man who would consume the indicated number of bottles of beer within one hour. Since individuals have different tolerance levels to alcohol, however, there are those who would already experience slower reflexes even after just two bottles):

  • 2 bottles of beer = 0.02% BAC
  • 3 bottles of beer = 0.05% BAC
  • 4 bottles of beer = 0.08% BAC – the BAC limit in all US states
  • 5 bottles of beer = 0.10% BAC
  • 7 bottles of beer = 0.15% BAC

Based on CDC records, more than 1.4 million drivers were arrested in 2010 due to driving under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs; the number of deaths due to alcohol- impairment was 10,322 in 2012 and 10,076 in 2013.

For many Americans, a few bottles of beer with friends or colleagues or a shot of 80-proof liquor (vodka, gin, whiskey, rum), especially during weekends or holidays would definitely not hurt; rightly so, but only if they do not drive afterwards.

It is true that majority of those who are charged with DUI are first offenders who never even suppose that the amount of alcohol they consume will impair their driving ability and lead them into an accident that may injure someone and damage properties.

According to a West Columbia DUI attorney, however, “A DWI/DUI can be deemed a felony-level crime for many reasons, especially in South Carolina. If anyone is seriously injured due to the accident, it is almost automatically considered a felony. Any child passenger involved in a drunk driving accident also greatly increases the likelihood of being charged with a felony DUI. Furthermore, a third DUI offense is automatically deemed a felony-level crime. A felony elevates the range of punishments for a crime, so establishing a strong defense to preserve your freedom becomes all the more important.

The courts already do not take DUI cases lightly, and when a child is involved, the stakes are drastically increased. All drunk driving cases involving children are subject to additional fines and jail time, and these additional penalties are mandatory if convicted for the original offense. Even if you are not convicted of the DUI, a mandatory 60-day license suspension might be imposed. In some states, a child is said to be anyone who is under the age of 16. An attorney may be able to help you reduce or completely avoid these additional DUI penalties.”

Driving While Impaired: What Good does it Really Do?

Use of alcohol and drugs by truck drivers, as reported by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), is the second most common cause of accidents involving big rigs (also called 18-wheelers, semi-trailers or trailer-trucks). Due to the enormous size of these vehicles, an impaired driver behind the wheel completes the threat of possible accident that may easily result to severe injuries or death (impaired-driving may be due to alcohol intoxication or due to the effect of illegal drugs (narcotics) or legal drugs (over-the-counter and prescription medicine).

Operating Class 8 trucks, which include big rigs and other commercial vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating (GWVR) above 33000 lb., requires that the driver has a commercial driver’s license, possesses the necessary skills in the safe operation of a truck, is not feeling fatigued or sleepy, and is not impaired or intoxicated.

To ensure that the last requirement is met, the government has set 0.04% as the legal blood alcohol concentration limit for drivers of 18-wheeler trucks. A driving under the influence (DUI) charge and heavy punishments await those who will be caught with this BAC limit while driving. While those caught with 0.02% BAC level may not be charged with a DUI offense, they, nonetheless, can be issued a 24-hour driving suspension. These limits, by the way, are only for drivers who will be discovered to have said BAC levels while operating a truck; those who are off-duty, but registers a 0.08% BAC may still incur a DUI charge.

Despite the BAC limits and the anti-drunk driving laws, data shows that prior to crashes, many drivers were, indeed, intoxicated or alcohol-impaired. This is because many drivers consume a bottle or two during stopovers, while sharing stories with other truck drivers; some also choose to bring along extra bottles which will keep them company during the long, tiring and lonely long drives between counties.

In its website, the law firm Williams Kherkher says, “Driving while under the influence of any intoxicant is a reckless and hazardous act that could endanger everyone on or near the road.”

For drivers of big rigs, staying sober while on duty is a legal responsibility. It has been explained, time and again, that alcohol impairment can lessen one’s ability to safely operate a vehicle, much more a big rig. The risk of injury and death, especially to drivers and passengers of smaller vehicles, is the reason why drunk-driving has been made illegal. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), about 5,000 small vehicle occupants die every year in accidents where trucks are involved; number of deaths among truck drivers, on the other hand, number to about 700.

Victims of truck accidents will definitely need strong legal representation from a seasoned personal injury lawyer for a higher chance of claiming the compensation they will need for their medical treatment and other losses. This is because proving liability, specifically proving that the truck driver is the one at fault in the accident, may not be a simple task. Due to this, a civil lawsuit, even with evidence showing the truck driver’s liability, may still turn out to be a very challenging task.