“Drinking but not impaired” refers to the idea that someone has consumed alcohol but is not so impaired that they can get arrested for drunk driving. However, any amount of alcohol in your system may impair your reaction time and other functions.
The real concern is whether or not someone is safe to drive after they have consumed any amount of alcohol. Tolerance varies a lot per person, and someone can make poor driving decisions even below the legal limit. Let’s look at what that legal limit is and how it relates to impairment.
Legal Drunk Driving Limit
In every U.S. state, including Georgia, the legal limit for drinking and driving is a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08.
How soon it takes for a person to reach a 0.08 BAC limit depends on several factors like weight, height, gender, alcohol tolerance, and how long they have been drinking. Someone weighing 120 pounds can reach 0.08 BAC in two to three drinks, while someone weighing 210 may reach it in four to five drinks. This varies per person, however, and many people drink more than what’s considered a serving.
It’s important to remember that as a person’s BAC increases, so does their impairment. Even mild impairment at 0.05 BAC can lead to sleepiness and memory, balance, and coordination problems. Even though someone is well below the 0.08, it doesn’t mean they are safe to operate a large, heavy motor vehicle.
There is No Truly Safe “Drinking But Not Impaired”
Someone can drink, get behind the wheel, and not exceed the legal limit for drinking and driving. However, even minimal amounts of alcohol can cause impairment. It’s a misconception that you cannot be arrested for DUI if your BAC is less than 0.08.
The only actually safe BAC for driving is 0.00. In Georgia, you can be charged with “DUI Less Safe.” According to Georgia Code § 40-6-391, a person should not drive or control a moving vehicle while “under the influence of alcohol to the extent that it is less safe” for them to drive. This applies to drugs, as well.
To be charged with DUI Less Safe, the court must show that the driver’s BAC was between 0.05 and 0.08. They must also prove this made the driver less safe on the roads. Although a DUI Less Safe charge might sound less severe than a regular DUI charge, it is every bit as serious.
Injured By a Drunk Driver? Call John Foy & Associates
Every day, car accidents are caused by someone drinking and choosing to get behind the wheel. Many people assume they can be drinking but not impaired to the point of being unsafe on the roads. The truth is, impairment can begin very soon after someone consumed any alcohol.
If you were injured by the actions of someone drinking and driving, John Foy & Associates is here to help. For over 20 years, we have been representing drunk driving victims and ensuring they get the compensation they are entitled to receive. Contact us today for a FREE consultation to get started. Call (404) 400-4000 or contact us online today.