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Alcohol's effects can be serious and lead to DWI charges

Our readers have probably often read our blog posts that have to do with the blood alcohol content of a person who has been arrested for drunk driving. Some of our readers might be wondering why this BAC reading is so significant in drunk driving cases. The simple answer to that is that the more elevated a person's BAC, the more likely that person is to drive in an unsafe manner. As coordination falters, the person might be pulled over for drunk driving. That requires swift action to help the person offer a defense to the charges.

The legal limit for intoxication in New York is .08 percent. The effects of alcohol can start to affect a person before that limit is reached. A person with a BAC of more than .056 can start to feel the impact of the alcohol-related depression. When the BAC climbs to .06 percent to .10 percent, impaired judgment, altered coordination and slower mental processing time can occur. Those can lead to accidents when the person drives.

Blood alcohol content levels of .10 percent and higher have a more profound impact on the person's skills. By the time the BAC hits .25 percent, the person is likely having some life-threatening symptoms. By the time the BAC is .30 percent, the person will lose consciousness. At around .40 percent, the person likely goes into a coma.

The BAC is determined by the amount of alcohol in a person's system. This is determined by the period of time over which the drinks were consumed, the number of drinks consumed and the person's weight. For those reasons, different amounts of alcohol can affect people in different ways. The consumption of foods and other factors can all have an effect on how alcohol is processed by a person's body.

Source: University of Notre Dame McDonald Center for Student Well-Being, "What is Intoxication?" accessed Jan. 23, 2015

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