Gale Law Group
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Corpus Christi, TX 78404

DUI and the Effects of Blood Alcohol

Approximately 32 people in the United States die in drunk-driving accidents every single day, which is one person every 45 minutes. In 2020, 11,654 people died in an alcohol-related traffic accident, which was a 14% increase from 2019. all of them could have been prevented. Driving a car is an important part of modern life. But when people drink before they get behind the wheel, it can become a serious crime. DUI-related accidents take the lives of thousands of people every year, but it can also lead to steep fines and even jail time.

police sobriety test

Important DUI Statistics in the State of Texas

Some of the important DUI statistics in the State of Texas include the following:

  • It has more fatal drunk driving accidents than any other state in the U. S.
  • It has more than 1,000 DUI-related accidents every year.
  • 23.2% of Texans admit to driving drunk at least once in their lives.
  • More than 90,000 people in Texas have been arrested each year for DUI charges.
  • At least 38% of all fatal vehicle crashes in Texas involve a drunk driver.
  • Approximately one-third of DUI fatalities in Texas have affected someone aged 21 or younger.

In Texas, someone gets hurt or killed in a drunk driving accident approximately every 20 minutes. This illustrates how serious the problem is and why it’s so important to educate people about it. Driving after having a few drinks may seem like a casual mistake, but it can literally be a matter of life and death.

The Effects of Blood Alcohol Concentration

Alcohol can lower the function of the brain. This can impair your thinking, reasoning, and muscle coordination. All of these abilities are important for the safe operation of a motor vehicle. As alcohol levels rise in your system, the negative effects it can have on your central nervous system will increase. It’s absorbed directly through the walls of your stomach and small intestine. It then moves into your bloodstream, where it will accumulate until it’s metabolized by the liver.

A person’s alcohol level is measured by the weight of the alcohol in a specific volume of blood. This number is called Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC).  When it gets to .08 grams of alcohol per deciliter (g/dL) of blood, your risk of getting into a crash will increase exponentially (which is why it’s illegal in all 50 states). But even a small amount of alcohol can affect your driving ability.

Here is a breakdown of all the BAC levels and how it can affect you:

  • .02 BAC — You start to experience some loss of judgment, a feeling of relaxation, a slight body warmth, and an altered mood. You will also start to see a decline in your visual function (specifically in your ability to rapid track a moving target) and a drop in your ability to do two things at the same time (what is often referred to as “divided attention”).
  • .05 BAC — You will start to exhibit some exaggerated behavior, and you may have a loss of small-muscle control (such as in focusing your eyes). Your judgment will also be impaired (usually with a good feeling), as well as a lowering of your alertness and your inhibitions.
  • .08 BAC — Your muscle coordination becomes poor (which will affect your balance, speech, vision, reaction time, and hearing). It will also be harder to sense danger as your judgment, self-control, reasoning, and memory are impaired.
  • .10 BAC — You will experience a clear deterioration of your reaction time and control. You will also have slurred speech, poor coordination, and slowed thinking. Driving at this state will reduce your ability to maintain lane position and to apply appropriate braking.
  • .15 BAC — You will have much less muscle control than normal, and vomiting may occur (unless the level has been reached slowly or you have developed a tolerance to alcohol). You will also experience an extreme loss of balance and substantial impairment in vehicle control. You will lose your ability to pay attention to different driving tasks, and you will lose the necessary visual and auditory information processing needed to operate a motor vehicle.

Driving after consuming alcohol is deadly, but it keeps happening across the United States. If you drive while you’re impaired, you could get arrested. You may even be involved in a traffic accident that will lead to serious injury or death.

If you’re facing DUI charges and are looking for a criminal defense attorney in Corpus Christi to help you with your case, be sure to get in touch with Gale Law Group.