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Does a driver have to be drunk to be dangerous?

It is no secret that a driver who is legally intoxicated poses a threat to other motorists. Many of us have seen videos, reenactments or real-life situations that show an obviously drunk driver weaving in and out traffic, running through stop signs or slamming into parked cars and pedestrians. 

However, a driver doesn't have to be obviously drunk to be a danger to others. In fact, there are plenty of drivers who cannot safely operate their vehicle after just one or two drinks. They don't even need to be legally drunk to be dangerous.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, having any amount of alcohol in your system can have an effect on your driving.

For instance, after just two drinks, an average person will have a blood alcohol concentration of about 0.02 percent. At this level, your ability to track moving targets declines, as does your ability to divide your attention between two or more tasks. Further, your judgment and mood can be affected which can change your driving behaviors. 

If you have another drink, your BAC can increase to about 0.05 percent. At this level, you may have difficulty with coordination and a delayed response to sudden or emergency situations. Your visual capabilities decline further and the effect of alcohol on your mood and decision-making skills can be more noticeable. 

You probably won't be charged with DUI in either of these cases, but it should be clear that your body is affected by alcohol even when you are not legally intoxicated. These effects can certainly change the way you drive and could make it more difficult to avoid and respond to potentially dangerous situations. 

If you have been injured by a driver who was drinking, you need to understand that a person doesn't need to have a BAC of 0.08 percent to be considered negligent, reckless and/or liable for a crash. Discussing this situation in more details with a personal injury attorney will be crucial if you have recently been involved in a crash.

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