CDOT says alcohol’s effect varies from one person to the next. Furthermore, various factors can affect a person‘s blood alcohol content. Many car accidents in Colorado, some of them fatal, occur because drivers do not believe that as little as one or two alcoholic drinks could affect their driving abilities.
Not all drivers understand the length of time to wait before the BAC returns to zero after consuming alcoholic beverages. Although the legal BAC limit is .08%, only 0% alcohol in the driver’s blood indicates that a driver is sober enough to drive. After drinking a single beer, alcohol could remain present in the blood for as long as two hours.
DUI and DWAI
Authorities in Colorado urge drivers to take some time to allow the BAC to return to zero before getting behind the wheel of a vehicle. The following BAC laws apply in the state:
- DWAI: Driving While Ability Impaired for which the limit is .05%
- DUI: Driving Under the Influence for which the limit is .08%
That means that an officer could arrest a driver with a blood alcohol content of only .05% if a person exhibits behavior or other signs of impairment.
Other factors that could affect a driver’s BAC level include the following:
- How many standard drinks the driver consumed
- The amount of time spent consuming those drinks
- The driver’s gender
- The driver’s body weight
- The driver’s body type
- Dehydration and fatigue could affect driving ability
- Did the driver eat food, and if so, how much
Sadly, many lives have been ruined or ended in car accidents caused by impaired drivers in Colorado. Although money could not make up for lost lives or life enjoyment, victims or surviving families could file personal injury or wrongful death lawsuits, which could, if successful, ease the burden. If the plaintiffs can prove another driver’s negligence, monetary judgments might include recovery of financial and other losses.