What should I know about BAC?
Blood Alcohol Concentration or BAC refers to the percentage of alcohol present in an individual’s bloodstream. For example, a BAC of 0.10% implies that the current blood supply of an individual contains one part alcohol for every 1000 parts blood.
In the state of Georgia, like many other states, if a person has a BAC of 0.08 or higher, it means that they are legally intoxicated.
Factors that Influence BAC Levels
Here are some prominent factors that can affect your blood alcohol concentration level:
Number of Drinks
The number of drinks that a person consumes affects their BAC. The more the number of drinks consumed, the higher the BAC will be. It also depends on the type of drink consumed. Since beer has relatively lower alcohol content, you won’t be too intoxicated after consuming a bit of beer. However, if you opt for hard liquor, a few glasses can raise your BAC considerably.
Amount of Time in Which Drinks Are Consumed
The more quickly an individual consumes alcohol, the faster their BAC levels will reach its peak. If drinking is spread out over a certain period of time, it will result in a lower BAC, considering that all other factors remain equal.
A person’s weight also affects the percentage of alcohol in their blood. For instance, a heavier person has more body fluids that cause the alcohol to mix, hence, leading to a lower BAC.
Last but not least, alcohol affects men and women in different ways. Alcohol tends to have a stronger and longer impact on women, considering that they produce a smaller quantity of alcohol dehydrogenase, an enzyme that breaks down alcohol in the stomach.
The Sequence of Effects of Alcohol on the Body
The first organ of the body that alcohol affects is the brain. It specifically impacts the part of the brain that allows you to think clearly and make informed decisions. The impact of sedatives can impair one’s judgment in a way that isn’t prominently noticeable by the drinker. It also influences the part of the brain that controls social inhibitions.
Second, muscle control is affected by the consumption of alcohol. The small muscles in the eye are considerably affected by alcohol, causing our vision to be significantly impacted, even with low levels of alcohol.
Effects of Alcohol on Driving Ability
Here is how alcohol can affect your vision, compromising your driving ability.
Visual Acuity or Sharpness of Vision
Alcohol may cause your vision to become blurry, making it difficult to view and analyze the traffic conditions and make good driving decisions.
Side or Peripheral Vision
Sober people have almost 180 degrees of side vision normally. So, even when looking straight, they can easily detect objects moving at the side. However, a rise in BAC can lead to a decline in your side vision.
Did you know that alcohol compromises your ability to distinguish colors? As a result, it impairs your capability to perceive the flow of traffic.
High BAC may compromise your night vision, reducing your ability to control the amount of light entering your eyes.
When it comes to driving, it is vital to determine how far objects are from your vehicle. Alcohol impairs a person’s ability to judge distances accurately, increasing the chances of an accident.
Alcohol can slow down your ability to change your focus quickly from objects close by to objects far way, compromising your ability to see driving hazards clearly.