Most people in Houma, Louisiana, know from public service announcements and other sources that the legal limit in this state is 0.08 percent blood alcohol level.
What this means is that if a person gets caught with more than 0.08 percent blood alcohol content, or BAC, in his or her system, is considered to be too intoxicated to drive, and the police have an improved chance of securing a criminal conviction for drunk driving. However, this does not mean that someone who gets in to an accident and blew under 0.08 into a breath test device is automatically sober. This distinction can have important implications for personal injury claims resulting from a car accident.
The truth is that alcohol affects people in a variety of different ways. Alcohol’s effects progress in scope and severity the more someone drinks over a relatively short span of time. The legal limit is designed to put a top limit on BAC, but some drivers under some circumstances may be dangerous at lower levels.
Someone who blows a 0.02 BAC may still experience some minor difficulties with seeing and focusing one’s vision. He or she may also find it much harder to do two things at once, like hitting the brakes and steering.
At 0.05 BAC, a driver may be below the limit, but he or she can still be a threat to other motorists. For instance, reaction time is usually slowed to the point of not being able to respond quickly to emergency situations. Moreover, the person may have trouble steering and may also have a hard time making coordinated movements or even focusing on moving objects ahead of him or her.
It is important to remember that if were hurt in a car accident caused by someone else, you may have the right to pursue compensation. It can help your case if you show that the other driver’s BAC was above the legal limit, but it is not required that you prove the person was above the limit in order for you to show that he or she was driving recklessly.