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

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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.


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Theodore

14 years of experience
1091 reviews
Theodore
14 years of experience
Dodge Grand Caravan - Brake Pads Replacement (Front) - Bellevue, Washington
Second time using Theodore to service my van. He's always professional and detail oriented. He takes extra effort in tracking down issues and explains things well. Very customer oriented. Highly recommend.

Tung

14 years of experience
284 reviews
Tung
14 years of experience
Ram 1500 - Brake Pads Replacement (Front) - Marietta, Georgia
Tung showed up on time and was very friendly. Changed my brake pads in about 30 minutes and gave me recommendations on when to change the rear pads. Will ask for him by name next time.

Victor

33 years of experience
105 reviews
Victor
33 years of experience
Chrysler Grand Voyager - Brake Pads Replacement (Front) - Albuquerque, New Mexico
Have used Victor multiple times now for work on my vehicle. He is prompt, courteous, knowledgeable, and dependable. I never have to worry about a thing as Victor makes sure work is performed quickly, efficiently and and correctly.

Chuck

8 years of experience
120 reviews
Chuck
8 years of experience
Honda Odyssey - Brake Pads Replacement (Front) - Coppell, Texas
Had an appointment for replacing Front Brake Pads today. Chuck did a great job and completed the task before the schedule. I will surely refer yourmechanic to my friends as well. Happy Thanksgiving Chuck. Thanks again for your great service.

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