Rhett Hoestenbach, P.C. Law Firm

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A driver doesn't have to be legally drunk to be dangerous

You never know what the drivers around you did before getting into their cars. You could be on your home one day, minding your own business, and end up in an accident.

Afterward, you may discover that the driver behind the wheel was drinking prior to driving but did not have a blood alcohol concentration at or above the Texas legal limit of 0.08%. The reality is that an individual does not have to be legally drunk in order to endanger your life and the lives of those around him or her.

The effects of alcohol at certain BAC levels

Obviously, the more you drink, the more alcohol affects you. How it affects you makes it increasingly difficult for you to drive safely. Consider the following:

  • Between 0.02 and 0.03, you feel relaxed, lightheaded and some mild euphoria. Your inhibitions begin to decrease as well.
  • Between 0.05 and 0.06, the feeling of euphoria increases, your behavior becomes exaggerated and your inhibitions continue to decrease. Your memory begins to become impaired, along with your reasoning.
  • Between 0.08 and 0.09, your motor skills decline, your auditory and visual acuity decline, and impaired judgment increases. You may even begin to slur your words. 

As you can see, you don't have to reach the legally drunk threshold in order to lose the ability to drive safely. Going over the legal limit further only increases the danger. You may take your driving responsibilities seriously and wouldn't get behind the wheel after drinking, but others are not as diligent and safety conscious as you are.

You may suffer the consequences

Even if you do encounter a driver who may not be legally drunk, he or she may have had enough to drink to present a danger to you. The sad truth is that drivers who drink often walk away without suffering any injuries or suffer less serious injuries than their victims. You may suffer serious injuries that sideline you for a substantial amount of time. You may not be able to return to work for some time while the medical bills pile up.

If you present evidence to the court that the other driver negligently or recklessly got behind the wheel after drinking, it could lead to a monetary judgment to compensate you for your financial losses and any other damages you incurred as a result of the crash.

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Board Certified - Texas Board of Legal Specialization | Personal Injury Trial Law - Rhett Hoestenbach