Every day, people get behind the wheel under the influence of alcohol. According to the CDC, drunk driving causes 29 deaths every day in the United States (around one death every 50 minutes.) More than one million drivers were arrested in 2016 for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
As the numbers show, drunk driving seems to be an epidemic in the US. But, what if the driver that caused the accident was under the legal limit? What are your options then?
Understanding BAC and the Factors That Can Affect It
Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) refers to the amount of alcohol in your bloodstream at a given time. The legal limit in the US is 0.08 for drivers over the age of 21, meaning that you have 0.08 mg of alcohol in 100 ml of blood.
A number of factors can influence your BAC, such as:
- Your gender
- Your proportion of body fat
- Drinking on an empty stomach
- Drinking too quickly
- Your weight and size
- Your metabolic rate
- Whether you are tired
So, realistically speaking, you could have just one glass of wine and still have a BAC higher than 0.08 because you were extremely tired or you skipped lunch.
What If the Other Driver Was Drinking, But Is Under the Limit?
If you’ve been in a car crash and the police have reasons to suspect that the at-fault party has been drinking, then they will likely ask him to take a breathalyzer test. If the BAC is over the legal limit, then the driver will be charged with a DIU (Driving Under the Influence) offense. Even if the BAC is under the limit, the police can administer a field sobriety test if they think that the driver was acting recklessly. If they fail it, then they will likely face DUI charges regardless of the breathalyzer test results.
You may then be able to use the police report to file for compensation or even criminal charges if someone was killed in the accident.
Things can get a bit tricky if the BAC is under the legal limit. You can still file for compensation, but it can be more difficult to prove that they were at fault. That’s why it’s best to get in contact with a St. Louis car accident attorney. They can help you get through all the legal hoops and ensure that your legal rights are protected.
What If Both of Us Have Been Drinking?
Your BAC isn’t that important if the other driver caused the crash. If you score above the limit, then you will be charged with a DUI offense, but you won’t be liable for the crash just because you had a drink. Either way, you should contact your St. Louis car accident lawyer right away so that you know what you need to do next.
St. Louis Car Accident Lawyers
The reasons don’t matter that match: if someone crashed into you and hurt you, then they should pay for your pain and suffering. An experienced lawyer can speed up and ease the process for you. Give us a call today at (314) 361–4242 for a FREE case evaluation.