The legal intoxication limit for a driver is a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08. This number means something different for everyone. Depending on your weight, your metabolism and myriad other factors, you will reach 0.08 after only a small amount of alcohol, or maybe after quite a few drinks. But regardless of how you got there, when you surpass 0.08 (and even if you only reach it), you run the risk of being caught for drunk driving.
Drunk driving is an astonishingly negligent act that ruins lives and leaves many people severely injured (or worse). But a new report says that 0.08 may not necessarily be the best indicator for a person's intoxication; and it also suggests that at BAC levels below 0.08, even at miniscule amounts, a person may be a significant risk for causing a crash.
The report looked at more than 570,000 car accidents from 1994 to 2011. These accidents provided any BAC levels for the people involved in the wrecks, as well as who was to blame for the wrecks. What researchers found is amazing: people with a BAC of 0.01 were 46 percent more likely to be solely blamed for a crash than a sober driver.
Basically what this study shows is that even consuming one drink will make you an impaired driver, even if you may feel "fine." The alcohol in your system makes you more prone to cause a crash. Further evidence in this study (and others), suggests that 0.05 may be a more accurate limit in terms of determining someone's sobriety. However, the ultimate lesson here is any alcohol is too much alcohol to drive.
Source: Reuters, "Buzzed drivers under legal limit still risk car accidents," Jan. 22, 2014