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The other driver didn't have to be legally drunk to harm you

When you think of drunk drivers, you may be like others here in New York and elsewhere who picture that stumbling, red-eyed individual who obviously had at least one too many. While this individual would certainly present a serious danger on the road, a driver does not have to be quite this impaired to pose a risk.

Alcohol has different effects on people and different effects at different levels of consumption. A person who has as little as one or two drinks could cause a serious or even deadly crash due to impairment.

Why not drinking at all is the only way to avoid the dangers

The only way to avoid becoming a danger to yourself and everyone else on the road due to alcohol consumption is not to drink at all. To understand why, it may help to know what happens to you when you drink:

  • A blood alcohol concentration as low as 0.02 affects your visual function, mood and the ability to participate in two tasks at a time. Think about how mellow you feel after just one or two drinks, which usually translates to this BAC.
  • By the time your BAC hits 0.05, your behavior becomes more exaggerated, and you have impaired judgment and lower inhibitions. When it comes to driving, your coordination, ability to steer, response to emergencies and tracking abilities diminish significantly.
  • Once you reach the legal limit of 0.08, you can't control the speed of your vehicle, your perception is impaired, and your judgment, memory and reasoning make you a danger to everyone.

As you can see, a person does not have to be legally drunk in order to pose a danger to you and others on the road. Even a low BAC of 0.02 can alter a person's behavior to the point where he or she could make a grave mistake while driving. If you are the unlucky person who encounters such a driver, your life could change forever in just a matter of seconds.

He or she may claim not to have been legally drunk, and that may be true, but consuming any alcohol at all does have an effect on an individual's ability to drive safely. In addition, the court could rule that consuming any alcohol prior to driving could constitute negligence or recklessness, which is required as part of your pursuit of the compensation you deserve.

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