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Types of Driving Behavior Associated with Different Blood Alcohol Concentrations (BAC’s)

Blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is a measure of the amount of alcohol in the bloodstream. Driving with a BAC of 0.08 percent or higher is automatically considered illegal in every U.S. state, but you may also be stopped for driving under the influence (DUI) if your driving shows signs of impairment, even if your BAC is below 0.08 percent. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a person’s driving changes in predictable ways as his or her BAC goes up, allowing law enforcement to detect drunk drivers.

At 0.02 percent, many drivers typically begin to experience a slowdown in their ability to track a moving object and a lesser ability to multitask, both of which are key skills when driving. These symptoms are expected to increase as the BAC reaches 0.05 percent, along with difficulty steering and a slower response to emergency situations that require a quick stop or swerve.

At or near a BAC of 0.08 percent, a driver typically starts to lose the ability to concentrate, retain short-term memories, or control the speed of a motor vehicle. Perceptions like vision and hearing may also be impaired, leading drivers to misjudge the location of other cars, intersections, or signals. These symptoms usually get worse the higher the BAC climbs, leading eventually to an inability to keep the car in its lane or to brake properly. However, a person’s BAC does not always match these descriptions of what law enforcement typically deciphers for these different BAC levels.

A NH drunk driving conviction can mean serious consequences. If you’re facing a DUI charge, the experienced New Hampshire DUI attorneys at Tenn And Tenn, P.A. can help. For a free and confidential consultation by phone, call us today at (603) 624-3700.

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