Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving

Police officer testing a man

Our San Jose DUI Lawyer Explains California Drunk Driving Laws

The blitz of public service ads (PSA) developed by the Ad Council and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) emphasizes that buzzed driving is drunk driving flooded the airwaves throughout this past holiday season. Statistically, the need for increasing the awareness of this epidemic is strengthened as every day 28 people in the United States die due to an alcohol-related vehicle crash. Driving while under the influence (DUI) not only takes away a life too soon but the related damages contribute to a cost of $52 billion per year.

The series of hard-hitting PSA’s ran in conjunction with the holiday season beginning on December 26 through December 31. It was a timely effort since social drinking is heightened throughout the holiday season. The markets the PSA’s were distributed heavily was strategic by focusing on the ten states that could benefit most from the message due to the high rate of alcohol-impaired driving and DUI fatalities:

  • California,
  • Florida,
  • Georgia,
  • Illinois,
  • New York,
  • North Carolina,
  • Ohio,
  • Pennsylvania,
  • South Carolina, and
  • Texas.

This campaign, better known as the “Project Roadblock” initiative marks its 13th year in production as local broadcast stations donate airtime to relay the message of the dangers of driving while under the influence even at low-level alcohol consumption.

In every state, it is legally unlawful to get behind the wheel of a vehicle with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08 or higher but the campaigns stress that even one drink can impair your reflexes and judgment The NHTSA provides detailed statistics on what happens at various BAC levels.

BAC .02 Percent

With this BAC level, one will experience a decline in visual function and the ability to perform more than one task at the same time which results in divided attention.

BAC .05 Percent

With this BAC level, one will experience a reduction in coordination as well as a reduction in the ability to track moving objects, difficulty steering, and a reduction in response time.

The above BAC levels represent what is known as buzzed driving while the following are examples of the effects of illegal driving while under the influence.

BAC .08 Percent

With this BAC level, one will experience a decrease in the ability to concentrate and experience short-term memory loss. The driver may also experience difficulty in managing speed control and will witness a reduction in processing capabilities as well as impaired perception.

BAC .10 Percent

With this BAC level, one will experience a significant deterioration of reaction time and control and greatly reduce his or her ability to maintain lane position and reaction time with regard to braking.

BAC .15 Percent

With this BAC level, one will experience a higher degree of impairment when it comes to maintaining control of the vehicle as well as severe impairment in visual and auditory processing.

With drinking comes physical and mental impairment, as noted above even following the consumption of one drink and the campaign hits just as hard. The short PSA’s concentrate on not only the dangers of driving while under the influence but the consequences involved after being charged with a buzzed or full-blown DUI:

  • High legal costs,
  • Loss of insurance,
  • Loss of license,
  • Loss of independence, and
  • Loss of social relationships.

If you reside in California, be forewarned, buzzed driving is drunk driving. The initial charge is frightening but the confusion and future uncertainties that follow can be devastating. If you live in the Bay Area and were recently charged with buzzed or driving under the influence, you need to explore your legal rights. Contact San Jose DUI attorney, Thomas Nicholas Cvietkovich, we are here to protect your rights. Contact us at (408) 898-9770 to schedule your free consultation today.


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