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How Your Blood Alcohol Content Affects Your Body and Mind

Posted on in Criminal Law

Crystal Lake DUI defense attorneyAlcohol consumption is a common part of life for many people in the United States and throughout the world, used in everything from social gatherings to religious ceremonies. Responsible consumption is often relatively harmless, but excessive drinking can pose increasing risks for both drinkers and the people around them.

Those who drink alcohol have a legal responsibility to refrain from driving while inebriated. In Illinois, the legal limit for driving is a blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08. If you are found to have a BAC of 0.08 or higher, you can face legal consequences in the form of charges for driving under the influence (DUI). However, alcohol can begin to affect one’s body even at BAC levels below 0.08, and the effects increase at higher concentrations. If you drink alcohol, you should familiarize yourself with these different stages.

Physiological Effects of Different BAC Levels

Every person handles alcohol differently, which means that one person with a certain BAC might feel different effects than another person with the same BAC. An individual’s metabolism, size, body weight, genetic and acquired tolerance, and many other factors could affect how your body processes alcohol.

For most people, however, it is reasonable to expect certain effects at given BAC levels, including:

  • 0.02: At this point, it may not be apparent that you have consumed alcohol, and you may simply feel relaxed. However, even at this level you can experience a slight impairment of judgment and a decline in your ability to multi-task and your visual capabilities.

  • 0.05: At this level, most people will have similar effects as the previous level, but they may be exaggerated and more apparent. You may feel much more relaxed and have impaired judgment and lower alertness. If you are driving with this BAC, you will likely see effects on your coordination, which may result in difficulty steering and slowed response times. In the state of Utah, 0.05 is the current BAC limit, and other states are considering reducing their limits to 0.05 as well.

  • 0.08: This BAC level is over the legal limit for driving a motor vehicle. At this level, your speech may become slurred, your balance, vision, and reaction time will likely be impaired, and it may be harder for you to detect danger. You may also find that your self-control will be impaired, especially when it comes to maintaining your speed, and you may also experience a reduction in information processing.

  • 0.10: At this point, most people are clearly intoxicated. Your reaction time and control are likely to be poor, as well as your coordination. Your ability to stay in your lane and brake correctly will almost certainly be impaired. 

  • 0.15: This level of intoxication often involves severe impairment of your physical and mental abilities. You might have far less muscle control than normal and you may even throw up. Your ability to drive will probably be severely impaired, and you may experience significant difficulties in paying attention to the road.

Contact a Crystal Lake DUI Attorney

You may be arrested for DUI at any BAC level, and the penalties you may face can increase if you are severely intoxicated. If you have been charged with DUI, you need the immediate help of an experienced McHenry County drunk driving defense attorney. At Botto Gilbert Lancaster, PC, our team can provide you with aggressive representation and fight to get you the best outcome possible. Contact our office at 815-338-3838 to schedule a free consultation and case review today.





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