Drunk Driving in Colorado: It’s Not Worth the Risk
As you’ve most likely heard time and again, drunk driving is one of the most dangerous things you can do—not just for yourself, but for other drivers on Colorado’s roads. Drunk driving is extremely deadly, claiming the lives of more than 10,000 people per year in the United States alone.
However, even though it’s common knowledge that drunk driving is dangerous, many people continue to do it. Why? Many drivers might think that they haven’t drunk enough alcohol for it to actually affect their driving abilities. Or they might think that, even though they are feeling the effects of alcohol, their superior driving skills will be enough to get them home safely. No matter the excuses or reasoning, drunk driving is dangerous—and even one drink could affect the way you drive.
What Is the Legal Limit for Drinking and Driving?
In Colorado, a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .05% is enough to be considered driving while ability impaired (DWAI) for a person age 21 or older. A BAC of .08% is considered driving under the influence (DUI). Even on the first offense, both charges could lead to jail time, fines, and/or license suspension.
But how many drinks equal a drunk driving charge? To understand that, you need to factor in your body weight. For example, a person weighing 120 pounds would have a BAC of .054% after just two drinks, and a BAC of .081% after three. If pulled over, that would equal a DWAI or DUI charge, respectively.
Even if, for some reason, you hold your liquor extremely well and don’t seem very drunk even while driving with a BAC of .05%, you could still be placed under arrest. A police officer could determine that you appear impaired, and you could still be charged with a DUI.
How Does Alcohol Affect Driving Abilities?
When operating a vehicle, you need to pay close attention to the road, watching both yourself and the drivers around you. A dangerous situation could arise in the blink of an eye, and you need to be able to react appropriately. Being in a drunken state can severely influence your ability to do any of these things, not to mention your ability to walk and talk.
Alcohol consumption affects the way you drive even when you are under the legal BAC limit. A BAC of just .02% can make you feel relaxed with some loss of judgement; for some people, that could be just one drink. A BAC of .05%, which could lead to a DWAI charge, can make you lose control of small muscles, impair your judgement, lower your alertness, and lessen your sense of inhibition.
A BAC of .08%, which could lead to a DUI charge, causes poor muscle coordination, a lessened sense of danger, and impaired judgement, self-control, reasoning, and memory. A BAC above that can severely slow reaction time and thinking while impacting your coordination and even your speech.
Don’t Risk It
After a night out with friends, it’s tempting to save some money and just drive home instead of calling a taxi. But no matter how many drinks you’ve had—or how far you have to drive—drunk driving is never worth the risk.
At Bachus & Schanker, LLC, our Colorado personal injury lawyers fight for the rights of those injured in drunk driving accidents. We understand the seriousness of driving while intoxicated, and we aim to get you the compensation you deserve. If you or someone you know were injured in an accident involving a drunk driver, contact us today for a free consultation.
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