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At what point does a drink lead to impairment while driving?

To understand how a drink can lead to impairment, it important to have an understanding of what impairment is. In Arizona, the Department of Public Safety defines impaired driving as a reduction in performing critical tasks, such as driving, because of the direct effect of alcohol or some other drug. Impairment due to drugs could be due to prescription or illegal drugs

When it comes to consuming alcohol, how many drinks it takes to lead to impairment or intoxication varies from one person to another. Consumption of alcohol affects everyone differently. For instance, the Arizona Department of Public Safety has a table which illustrates the effects of alcohol consumption on a person about an hour after a person has had a drink. The table is based on weight and does not distinguish between males and females. In essence, as the body weight of a person increases, the longer it takes for the person to be considered impaired or intoxicated. But, the Arizona DPS cautions that this is only a table to illustrate the effects of alcohol based on weight and should not be used to consume alcohol irresponsibly.

It is very important for all drivers to keep in mind that driving while intoxicated is a crime in Arizona, and those drivers who have a blood alcohol content of 0.08 percent or greater are deemed intoxicated and will potentially face DUI charges - the law is very clear on this matter.

Despite existing laws, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, nationally every 33 minutes someone loses their life in an alcohol related car accident. In addition to the unnecessary loss of life, many more people suffer debilitating life-long injuries in such accidents. In fact, the Arizona DPS notes that alcohol played a role in well over 25 percent of car crashes in Arizona. The cost in terms of loss of life and injuries is unfathomable.

Source: Arizona Department of Public Safety, "What is a Drink?," Accessed May 25, 2015

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Law Office of Keith A. Hammond, P.C.

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