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How does drinking affect the body?

You went out for drinks and had a great time with your friends, but one thing you didn't expect was to run into the issue of drunk driving. You planned to take a taxi or ride-sharing service home if you drank too much, but a friend said you seemed fine enough to drive. In your intoxicated state, you agreed and ended up weaving in and out of the lane on the way home.

Fortunately, no one got hurt, but you did get pulled over and now face a DUI. You're not alone. Although drunk driving fatalities have dropped, which suggests fewer drunk drivers on the roads, many people still face DUIs today. As alcohol increases in your system, you're less likely to make good decisions. Your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) rises, increasing the risk of injury and arrest.

Alcohol affects each person slightly differently, but the majority see a loss of judgment at around .02 percent intoxication. At .05 percent, many people begin to show exaggerated behaviors, while .1 percent shows a significant loss of control. At the .15 level, some people tend to get physically ill and vomit, while others lose muscle control.

A DUI is automatic if you're caught with a .08 percent BAC, but that doesn't mean you'll get away without charges if you have a BAC lower than that. Impairment leads to arrests more often than not, regardless of your BAC. That's why it's a smart idea to work with someone who can help protect you from drunk driving charges; even being under the limit isn't always enough to protect you from a conviction.

Source: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, "Drunk Driving," accessed June 08, 2018

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