Law enforcement officers are routinely on the lookout for drunk motorists. They don’t always get the opportunity to stop them before they cause a crash, though. Police officers find themselves performing field sobriety tests at the scene of an accident instead. Police officers generally haul motorists away for blood alcohol concentration (BAC) testing if they fail those. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) research shows that there are subtle differences in how BACs impact motorists.
It’s illegal for anyone under the age of 21 to consume alcohol in Louisiana. Underage motorists can be charged with a DUI if they have a BAC of .02%. Individuals may feel relaxed and experience an inability to render judgments, to do two things at once or track moving objects at this stage.
Motorists who have a BAC of .05% may have difficulty making sound judgments. They may not be as alert as they should, have lowered inhibitions and lack visual focus. Drivers may struggle with steering, tracking objects, remaining coordinated and responding well to emergencies at this stage.
A BAC of .08% is considered legally intoxicated in Louisiana. They’re likely to have difficulty rendering judgment, identifying dangerous situations, remembering things and exhibiting self-control. A person with a .08% BAC is likely to have vision, hearing, balance, reaction time and speech problems. Drivers may also have difficulty concentrating, regulating their speed, processing information, remembering things and perceiving things around them.
Drivers who test as having a BAC of .10% are likely to have difficulty controlling a vehicle, with coordination, processing information or reacting to different stimuli. Motorists with a BAC this high often struggle to remain in their lane or to apply their brakes at the appropriate times.
Any motorist with a BAC of .15% is likely to have difficulty with balancing and very little muscle control. They’re likely to be quite inattentive and to be devoid of both auditory and visual processing skills.
Driving isn’t something that motorists can passively do and expect to remain safe. There are many moving parts that drivers have to contend with on the road. Drivers must be fully attentive to do so. The potential severity of a crash increases when a motorist isn’t aware of their actions. An attorney can help you hold an intoxicated driver accountable for their actions if they caused you or a loved one to suffer catastrophic injuries here in Baton Rouge.