Driving Drunk Can Kill!
Drinking alcohol excessively can greatly impair your judgment. For example, you may choose to drive while intoxicated, which is both highly illegal and dangerous. Drunk driving could result in: jail time, have your driver's license taken away for a year (or have the test postponed for a year if you don't have your license yet), or injury/death.
Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) &
Blood Alcohol Level (BAL)
BAC and BAL are measurements of the amount of alcohol in a person's blood. A BAC of 0.1 means that 1/1000 of the fluid in the blood is alcohol. This may seem small, but it does not take much for you to achieve this level.
- A 150 pound male who consumes five drinks over the course of two hours will have a BAC near 0.1.
- A 115 pound female who consumes four drinks over the course of two hours will also have a BAC near 0.1.
- In all states it is illegal to drive your car when your BAC is 0.1 or higher. In most states, the legal limit for BAC is 0.05, and in California it is 0.08!
At a BAC of 0.1, you and your friends will most likely be drunk. Your thinking will be slowed and your vision, hearing, reaction time, movement, and judgment of speed and distance will be seriously impaired.
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Facts for Teen Drivers
Any teen who drives should be aware that:
- Alcohol-related traffic collisions kill more young people between the ages of 16 and 24 than any other single cause.
- It is a crime for anyone under the age of 21 to drink alcohol.
- Anyone under 21 found driving with a blood alcohol level of 0.01 percent or higher will automatically lose their driving privilege for one year.
- Minors found driving with alcohol in their systems who don't yet have a driver's license, or who aren't eligible for a license at the time of the violation, will be disqualified from applying for a license for one year.
- A driver under 21 with a blood alcohol level at or above 0.08 percent (the state's current presumptive level for DUI) can be arrested and prosecuted for driving under the influence.
- Teens under 21 who are arrested for any alcohol or drug offense will have their licenses suspended for at least one year. If they do not have a license, they must wait an additional year before one will be issued.
- It is a crime for anyone under the age of 18 with a blood alcohol level of 0.05 percent or higher to operate a motor vehicle.
- Anyone convicted of this crime will be sentenced and fined as an adult but will spend his/her sentence in a juvenile correctional facility or California Youth Authority Detention Center. There will also be mandatory enrollment in an alcohol-education program or community service.
- The court may order that all fines and fees be paid by the parent(s) of the minor.
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Below are links PAMF accessed when researching this topic. PAMF does not sponsor or endorse any of these sites, nor does PAMF guarantee the accuracy of the information contained on them.
Sobriety Checkpoints & Enforcement Programs,
The California Highway Patrol.
General Information on Drunk Driving, California Department of Motor Vehicles.
For More Information:
See our Alcohol Risks article.
See our How Alcohol Affects You article.