What is buzzed driving?
You are at a party and it is late in the night, you are in the company of several individuals nearly falling down drunk. You already know that they should not drive a vehicle when drunk. What should you do? Should you take their keys? What should you do if someone has been drinking and is not showing any sign of being drunk? Will you stop them from drinking more?
For most people the answers are not obvious and that is the primary reason why most drivers hit the road when buzzed. Buzzed driving is operating a motor vehicle when your blood alcohol concentration is between .01 and .07. Even though you will be under the legal limits for driving with such blood alcohol level concentration, it is just as dangerous as driving when drunk.
The University of California, San Diego, conducted a study that showed that most people blame buzzed drivers for fatal vehicle accidents – not the sober ones. The study also showed that the transition from a buzzed driver to a drunken one is smooth. In other words, there is no immediate down time or jump in drunkenness in the world of driving. Your driving skills go down steadily as the blood alcohol concentration rises. Each year, 10,000 individuals die in impaired driving accidents.
The signs of impairment to remember
– Feeling of euphoria
– Poor depth perception
– Inhibitions decline vision blurriness
– Loss of balance
– Staggered walking
– Poor coordination
– Sense of confusion
Do not operate a vehicle if you have consumed any alcohol. Not all the signs manifest and you should therefore plan on how to secure a safe ride before you start drinking.
The alcohol consumption stages by blood alcohol content
Sometimes, detecting the alcohol consumption stage of a person can be hard, particularly because there are several factors that affect the blood alcohol content (BAC). The University of Oklahoma Department of Medicine provides a chart showing the various degrees of BAC levels and impairment.
.01 – .05 Subclinical
.03 – .12 Euphoria
.09 – .25 Excitement
.18 – .30 Confusion
.25 – .40 Stupor
.35 – .50 Coma
Tips to help you remain safe
Secure a ride
If you have already consumed a substantial amount of alcohol but your travel is important, use the public transportation or secure a ride. Call a friend or a taxi driver to pick you up.
Charge your mobile phone
Before you start drinking, charge your mobile phone to the maximum battery life so that you will be able to call a car service, a friend or make emergency calls.
Stay fed and hydrated
Alternate the alcoholic beverages with several glasses of water. Moreover, drinking when hungry is dangerous. Food is known to slow the absorption of alcohol.
Alert a family member or friends of your plans
Letting several other people know of your plans is important. They might help you if need arises.
If you are in doubt about your blood alcohol concentration level, do not drive. The journey is not worth the lives of others, yours and the hefty charges and fines that arise due to impaired driving.