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Death and injury associated with drinking and driving is
a national tragedy. It’s the number one contributor to
the highway death toll, claiming thousands of victims
Alcohol affects four things that anyone needs to drive
Police records show that almost half of all motor
-related deaths involve alcohol. In most cases,
these deaths are the result of someone who was drinking
and driving. In recent years, over 17,000 annual motor
-related deaths have been associated with the use
of alcohol, with more than 300,000 people injured.
-- by some estimates, nearly half the adult
-- choose never to drink alcohol, so they
never drive after drinking. For persons under 21, it’s
against the law in every U.S. state to drink alcohol.
There are good medical, psychological and
developmental reasons for these laws.
The obvious way to solve the leading highway safety
problem is for people never to drink alcohol and then
drive. But what if people do? How much is “too much” if
the driver plans to drive? It’s a lot less than many might
think. Although it depends on each person and situation,
here is some general information on the problem.
The Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) of someone
who is drinking depends upon four things:
The amount of alcohol consumed
The drinker’s body weight
The amount of food that is consumed before and
The length of time it has taken the drinker to
consume the alcohol.
According to the American Medical Association, a
-lb. (82 kg) person who drinks three 12-ounce
(355 ml) bottles of beer in an hour will end up with a
BAC of about 0.06 percent. The person would reach the
same BAC by drinking three 4
-ounce (120 ml) glasses
of wine or three mixed drinks if each had 1
(45 ml) of a liquor like whiskey, gin or vodka.