Does 0.03% Really Matter When it Comes to BAC?

Man pulled over breathalyzerIn the State of Georgia, and in every other state in the nation, drunk driving is almost completely defined by your blood alcohol content. If you are driving with a blood alcohol content of 0.08 percent, you are considered legally drunk. That’s not to say you can’t be arrested for driving erratically after drinking, even with a blood alcohol content under 0.08 percent.

For the last few years, the National Transportation Safety Board has been calling for states to lower the legal blood alcohol content to 0.05 percent. It is believed doing so will reduce the number of drunk drivers on the road, and therefore reduce the number of traffic deaths. But will taking this measure actually make any difference?

Looking at Current Laws

The 0.08 law is a hard and fast one. If you test for this level of BAC, you are automatically considered impaired, even if you can walk a straight line while reciting Shakespeare in Latin. If you blow between a 0.05 and a 0.08 on a Breathalyzer, other factors are considered. If you are considered a danger due to your driving, you can still get a DUI charge with a lower blood alcohol content.

This law is important because people react to alcohol differently. A small-figured inexperienced drinker may be all over the road at 0.02 percent. On the other hand, an experienced drinker, or one with a larger figure, may drive perfectly fine at a 0.06 BAC. Or, at least, they believe they do. However, studies show something quite different.

An In-Depth Examination

The The National Institutes of Health has been studying this subject for years now. They have discovered that even at 0.05 percent, many drivers struggle with a simulated driving test. There was a difference in reaction time, eye movement and other crucial factors involved in driving. This was especially true in younger drivers and those that were sleep-deprived.

However, there are factors that almost always affect your level of drunkenness. One is your size. The bigger you are, the more blood your body produces. In turn, the alcohol you consume becomes much more diluted than it does in a smaller person. Secondly, women tend to get drunk faster than men. This is because men tend to have a higher fat-to-muscle, and fat doesn’t absorb alcohol, while muscle does.

Finally, your genetics can even play a role. Sure, you may have heard that certain groups get drunk more easily than others. But do you know what causes this disparity? Some ethnic groups, like those from certain areas of Asia, lack a certain enzyme called aldehyde dehydrogenase that breaks down alcohol. As such, they drink less than their peers, but feel drunk faster.

Will the Law Change?

This change from 0.08 to 0.05 BAC as the legal limit has been discussed for years. As such, many don’t think it will ever happen. After all, certain drinkers may reach that limit after just one good drink. Whether the limit changes or not, it is important to stay up-to-date when it comes to any kind of law regarding drinking and driving. If you have been arrested for a DUI in Atlanta, you don’t have to face the charges alone. Contact Hawkins Law Firm. Your initial consultation is free. Call today.

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