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You don't have to be drunk to be an impaired driver

Alcohol can affect a person's ability to think clearly, act reasonably and drive safely. However, impairment does not start when a person is legally drunk, but can begin at the moment the first drink is consumed. According to the law, a driver is legally drunk when his or her blood alcohol content (BAC) is .08 percent or higher, but a driver can certainly be impaired if his or her BAC is lower than that.

It is quite possible that you could suffer injuries and damages in an impairment-related car accident by a Florida driver who was not actually legally drunk. A person is accountable for getting behind the wheel of a vehicle when he or she is unable to drive safely, whether that is after one drink or several drinks.

The effects of alcohol on a person's ability to drive

The effect that alcohol can have on a person differs on a case-by-case basis. For many people, however, just one drink can start to change the way a person thinks and acts. Examples of this include:

  • Approximately two drinks: Two drinks can be enough to elevate a person's BAC to .02 percent. This can lead to some loss of judgment, altered mood, a decline in visual function and the inability to do two things at once.
  • About three drinks: This can elevate a person's BAC to approximately .05 percent and lead to exaggerated behavior, loss of coordination, difficulty steering and reduced response time.
  • About 4 drinks: This may elevate a person's BAC to approximately .08 percent, which would be grounds for arrest for drunk driving. At this point, a person would likely have difficulty concentrating, poor muscle control and a lack of perception of dangers and hazards.

The signs and effects of impairment only increase with each subsequent drink. It stands to reason that the more a person drinks, the less likely it is that this individual will be able to drive safely. A person could be past the point of safe driving after just one drink.

What if a drunk driver caused your accident?

If a drunk driver hurt you, you have the right to seek financial compensation for your losses, including medical bills and rehabilitation needs. You also have the right to pursue a lawsuit against an impaired driver, even if he or she technically had a BAC that was under the legal limit of .08 percent at the time of your accident.

It is possible to hold negligent drivers accountable for the pain and suffering caused by their actions, but you will find great benefit in first securing the help of an experienced attorney before you begin this effort.

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