You Okay to Drive?
We all know it happens. People test themselves after drinking to see if they're able to walk a straight line or say the alphabet backward. Truth is, if you're at the point where you're testing yourself or a friend to see if you're impaired, you likely are. That's why planning a ride before you start drinking is so important.
Any alcohol in your system can impact your ability to drive.
- A BAC of .03 to .07:
The average person reaches this point with just a couple of drinks in an hour. Already you're impairing your attention span, judgment and fine muscle coordination - all important to driving competently. Even though you may feel confident and aren't at the "legal limit," you're impaired and can be charged with DUI.
- A BAC of .08 to .17:
.08 is the legal limit in Montana - the point at which you absolutely will be charged with DUI - and there's good reason for it. At this stage you've impaired memory and balance. Your reaction time has slowed. And your senses - including vision - are impaired. If you're at this point, call a cab, call a friend, sleep on a friend's couch ... just don't drive.
- A BAC of .18 to .25:
Wasted, trashed, blotto'd. Whatever your choice of word for drunken excess, you've reached it. All senses are impaired. You slur your speech. You stagger and feel nausea. At this point, getting behind the wheel isn't just illegal, it's completely crazy.
- A BAC above .25:
Anything above .25 leads to passing out, decreased heart rate and a complete lack of muscle control. As the blood alcohol rate rises, coma and even death are distinct possibilities. Needless to say, this is way past the point of being able to drive safely, if at all.