Craig KuharyCriminal Defense
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At what point will an alcoholic drink affect your driving?

You probably think of yourself as a capable driver, even after you have enjoyed a couple of alcoholic beverages.

However, alcohol affects everyone differently. It is worthwhile knowing at what point it affects your ability to operate a vehicle safely.

How alcohol consumption works

After you absorb alcohol into your body, you will lose about 10% through breathing, perspiration and urine. The process of metabolism breaks down the rest of the alcohol. If law enforcement stops you on suspicion of drunk driving and you subsequently take a breath test, your blood alcohol content level will show the extent of impairment.

A look at impairment levels

If your BAC is 0.03% or lower, you will only feel mildly relaxed with no loss of coordination. Minor impairment begins when your BAC is 0.04% to 0.06%. However, at the 0.07% level, everyone experiences some form of impairment. Driving skills involving vision, reaction time, steering and lane-changing ability will decline. At 0.08%, it is illegal to drive. By the time you reach the 0.13%-0.15% level, you will experience severe problems with major motor skills, perception and judgment.

About gender and weight

Women drivers must be even more cautious than their male counterparts when consuming alcoholic drinks. A woman who is the same weight as a man, who drinks the same amount of alcohol as he does in the same amount of time, will have a higher BAC level.

What to remember

The body can only metabolize so much alcohol in an hour, and it is generally accepted that it can only rid itself of the equivalent of one drink per hour. It is important to remember that even a usually capable driver is legally impaired with a BAC of 0.08%. Driving after enjoying a couple of drinks in Wisconsin may earn you a breath test and the possibility of having to defend a DUI charge.

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