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Knowing how alcohol affects the body can keep drivers safe

Florida’s diverse population abounds with year-round residents, tourists and college students. After all, it is natural the great weather and laid-back lifestyle to attract people.

The West Palm Beach area offers a variety of entertainment, including sporting events and popular bars and restaurants. Unfortunately, there are also some risks associated with fun and camaraderie, one of which involves drinking and driving.

Alcohol makes a direct hit

When someone has a beer, a glass of wine or some other kind of alcoholic drink, the alcohol absorbs directly into the stomach and small intestine. From there, it enters the bloodstream where it waits for the liver to metabolize it. While this is going on, the central nervous system wrestles with the negative effects of alcohol absorption.

BAC reactions

Blood alcohol concentration level determines how a person will react to the amount of alcohol he or she consumes. For example, if the BAC measurement is .02 grams of alcohol per deciliter of blood, a person will feel relaxed and may experience some loss of judgment. At a BAC of .05 grams, coordination skills start to suffer, vision may become blurry, the person may have difficulty steering and he or she will not be as alert to situations that may develop while driving. When a person reaches a BAC level of .08 — the legal limit for drivers — he or she will have poor muscle coordination, reaction time and reasoning ability. Impaired drivers become a danger to themselves and to other motorists.

Data points to consider

Statistics gathered by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration show that drunk driving was the cause of one traffic fatality every 50 minutes across the nation in 2016. Here in Florida, tens of thousands of vehicle crashes occur every year, some of them fatal. A personal injury attorney will tell you that accidents related to drunk driving can result in catastrophic, life-changing injuries. It is important that you contact a personal injury attorney right away if you or a loved one have suffered injuries from an accident involving a drunk driver.

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