Most everyone knows that the legal limit for drinking and driving here in New Hampshire is 0.08. Knowing this, many people, perhaps you included, are under the impression that, as long as your blood alcohol concentration stays below that number, you are okay to drive.

Unfortunately, that isn’t necessarily the case. Alcohol affects everyone differently, and even if you are not at the legal limit, a police officer may believe there is enough evidence of impairment to arrest you for drunk driving. Even after your first drink, the alcohol begins affecting you and your ability to drive safely, especially depending on the type of alcohol you drink.

The effects of alcohol at a BAC of 0.02

It only takes one or two drinks for your BAC to reach 0.02. At this point, you may be feeling one or more of the following effects:

  • You begin to feel relaxed.
  • Your body temperature increases some.
  • Your vision begins to become compromised.
  • You may find it more difficult to multi-task.
  • You may experience a decrease in judgment.

In this state, your ability to drive could suffer and may not be what it normally is. For instance, driving requires the ability to multi-task and to see clearly, and after a couple of drinks, those abilities are already diminishing.

The effects of alcohol at a BAC of 0.05

A couple of drinks later, your condition deteriorates even more. At a BAC of 0.05, which is still under the legal limit of 0.08, you may feel one or more of the following:

  • Your behavior becomes exaggerated.
  • Your coordination deteriorates.
  • You are not as alert as you are when sober.
  • You may experience a decrease in your inhibitions.
  • Your ability to respond to situations around you decreases.
  • Your ability to detect moving objects diminishes.
  • Your judgement deteriorates even further.

Under these conditions, you will most likely not be able to respond to emergencies or changing traffic patterns around you. With reduced inhibitions, you may take chances while behind the wheel that you would never consider when sober.

What happens if you find yourself under arrest?

If you do end up under arrest for drunk driving, even without a BAC of 0.08, don’t feel as though you should simply plead guilty. An arrest is not a guarantee of a conviction. You have the right to challenge any charges filed against you, and it would most likely be in your best interests to do so. The repercussions go well beyond any criminal penalties you may face. A drunk driving conviction can affect your professional and personal lives in ways you may not yet be able to see.