Is It Safe to Drive With a BAC Under .08?

You’re having dinner with friends. One glass of wine becomes two. Before you know it, you’ve had more than is probably wise. You’re fine – you know you’re more than capable of driving safely. However, is it really safe to drive “buzzed”? Can you really drive safely with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) under .08?

First thing to realize is that even at a BAC of .02 alcohol already starts affecting the way you function. By the time you are at a BAC of .05 you will start experiencing reduced reaction times and loss of better judgement skills. The safest choice is not driving at all when you drink. Additionally, a few things to keep in mind legally:

  • DUI: First and foremost, understand that your BAC is only one of the factors that a police officer will use when determining whether to charge you with DUI. Even a BAC under .08 can lead to a ticket and going straight to jail.

  • Impairment: Here’s another tip – even if your BAC is under .08, you can still be impaired. You might not think you are, but it’s more than possible. Additionally, you may be feeling that alcohol-encouraged sense of confidence. The officer can also use any impaired driving to judge you under the influence, regardless of your blood alcohol concentration.

  • Under Age: If you’re under the legal drinking age (21 in most places), you can still be arrested and charged with DUI with a BAC under .08. This is because all states have zero tolerance laws where underage drinking is involved. In short, underage drinkers don’t have a maximum BAC, because they’re not legally allowed to drink in the first place.

  • Presumptive Limits: While .08 is the national threshold for drunk driving, almost half the states in the country have stricter definitions. If you test at .04 or .05 in these states, you’re presumed drunk.

When everything is said and done, it’s not safe to drive with a BAC under .08. If you’ve had a drink, don’t drive. It’s as simple as that.


The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Need Help With Your Car?

Our certified mobile mechanics make house calls in over 2,000 U.S. cities. Fast, free online quotes for your car repair.

GET A QUOTE

Related articles

Is It Safe to Drive With a Bubble in Your Tire?
If you see a bubble in your car tire it's a problem. A tire with a bulge in the tread or sidewall is not safe to drive on and must be replaced.
How to Get Out of a Sinking Vehicle
Car Car accidents (https://www.yourmechanic.com/article/how-to-survive-a-car-collision-by-joyce-morse) happen every day. While you might know what to do in a fender bender, what do you do if you end up in a body of water in your vehicle? The heightened tension and danger of...
How to Use a Technical Service Bulletin
To ensure your safety and the safety of those on the road around you, stay up-to-date on current or potential problems with your vehicle. One way to stay informed is through the use of technical service bulletins (TSBs), which are...

Related questions

How do I use the child restraint tether anchors?
Depending on your exact model, your vehicle is equipped with either two or three child restraint tether anchors. Many child restraint systems rely on tethers. The anchors in your car are on the back wall of the cabin. Attach the...
How do I use Uconnect phone to redial a number?
If you accidentally hang up during a Uconnect phone call, or simply need to call someone back, you can do so using the redial feature. To do so, follow these steps. Press the Uconnect phone button, which is on either...
How do I turn on the headlights in a 2012 Dodge Ram?
You should always use your headlights when it is at all dark out. Headlights help you see better, help others see you, and are legally required. Turning on the headlights in your car is easy. Locate the headlight switch, which...

How can we help?

Our service team is available 7 days a week, Monday - Friday from 6 AM to 5 PM PST, Saturday - Sunday 7 AM - 4 PM PST.

1 (855) 347-2779 · hi@yourmechanic.com