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How Alcohol Impairs Your Ability to Drive

Posted on in DUI Defense

DuPage County DUI defense attorney, DUI charges, drunk driving, alcohol and brain function, DUI chargeEach person reacts to alcohol differently, and some of the differences have to do with the tolerance level built up within a person's system. For example, a person who has never had an alcoholic beverage before is not encouraged to drink a 12-pack of beer. His or her body is not adjusted and will not know how to react.

Other factors that influence a person's tolerance to alcohol include how much the person ate during the day, his or her stress level, and body weight. However, despite tolerance levels, alcohol does have a physiological impact on the various systems of the body, which inevitably causes impairment and can result in a DUI charge.

Emotional Impact

People love to discuss alcohol all around the world. Some cultures praise the effects, and others focus on the ill consequences of the substance. Alcohol is typically classified as a depressant in the medical world, due to it having similar results as medically prescribed depressants. However, it is interesting to note that adults choose to partake in an alcoholic beverage for its stimulating qualities. Many drink a cocktail at a party to help “get the party started” so to speak. In small amounts, alcohol does have a stimulating effect. However, with enough, the depressant effects take over.

Impact on Brain Function

Alcohol alters brain function, as witnessed with blurred vision, difficulty walking upright, and slurred speech. The effect of alcohol wears off as soon as someone sobers up, or in the days following. However, new research shows that alcohol may result in longer-lasting impairments over time.

Even Small Amounts Have Impacts

Although the limit of driving after drinking is 0.08 percent blood alcohol concentration (BAC), alcohol can cause impairments at lower levels. Within Illinois, if an officer successfully proves physical deterioration, the BAC level is not entirely necessary. Therefore, it is important to understand what happens to the body when adding in alcohol. These levels are different for everyone, and these numbers refer to the “average” adult.

  • BAC 0.02 percent: Moderate effects;
  • BAC 0.04 percent: Feelings of relaxation, euphoria, sociability, and talkative;
  • BAC 0.05 percent: Impairment of judgment, reaction, and control begins;
  • BAC 0.08 percent: Loss of ability to fully control muscle coordination and drive;
  • BAC 0.10 percent: Clear loss of control and slow reaction time; and
  • BAC 0.12 percent: Physical reaction such as vomiting and drowsiness.

Not Everyone is Equal

Remember, these numbers consider the average person, but the average person does not exist. Individuals are always either above or below the "average" for height, weight, meals consumed, stress, and the other main contributing factors. Even gender, age, and race influences alcohol reactions.

If you face charges of DUI, it is important to understand that a conviction can create a lasting negative impact on your future. Mitigate disaster by hiring a legal representative. If you would like to discuss your case with a DuPage County, IL DUI defense attorney, McMahon Law Offices is available. We proudly offer a free consultation to those who call 630-953-4400 today.






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