Can I Have Just One Drink and Be Safe To Drive?

It’s not uncommon in Albuquerque for someone to drive themselves to a bar or a party and consume some alcohol, still believing they’re sober enough to drive. But after consuming just one drink, is it still possible to drive safely?

Generally, even one drink alone can impair a person’s driving abilities enough to increase the chances of a serious car accident. 

Alcohol Affects Everyone Differently

Everyone’s body is unique, and therefore, alcohol affects individuals differently. How one drink would affect one person may not be the same way it affects another person, and how long you need to wait to drive after consuming alcohol may be different for someone else.

Certain factors impact how quickly a person can metabolize their alcohol, including:

  • Age
  • Weight
  • Gender
  • Food, as in a full stomach vs. an empty stomach
  • How quickly alcohol is consumed
  • Other medications and substances

It’s important to consider these details when assessing how alcohol affects you. However, no matter how you feel, you should refrain from getting behind the wheel of a car to keep yourself and others out of danger if you’ve consumed alcohol.

Even One Drink Can Diminish Driving Abilities

Many people mistakenly believe one drink does not have enough alcohol to cause impairment. Surprisingly enough, in most cases, one drink is all it takes to cause significant impairment of driving capabilities. 

It typically takes the average person about one hour to metabolize a shot of liquor, two hours for a pint of beer, and three hours for a large glass of wine. Therefore, even if a person has only one beer and tries to drive, they could find it more challenging than usual. 

One drink typically raises the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) to just .02%. While this is still below the legal limit, you’d still be considered impaired. A person with a .02% BAC is likely to experience some loss of judgment, a decline in visual function, and issues with performing more than one task at the same time. 

Even with just one drink in your system, you’re more likely to engage in dangerous driving behaviors that result in car accidents, including:

  • Speeding
  • Aggressive driving
  • Unsafe turns and lane changes
  • Weaving in and out of lanes
  • Following too closely 

This means that, in general, most people cannot have just one drink and be considered entirely safe to drive. 

In New Mexico, like most states, the legal limit is .08% BAC. At this point, an impaired individual caught driving could face serious legal consequences

Additionally, other legal limits exist in New Mexico, depending on the circumstances. The legal limit for those 21 and younger is .02%, which is known as the “zero tolerance” BAC limit. Commercial drivers’ limit is .04% BAC. New Mexico’s “enhanced penalty” BAC is .16%, which means that if a person is caught with such a BAC, penalties are greater.

Individuals caught above the legal limit face several repercussions, including steep fines, jail time, and license suspensions. If a drunk person causes injury to another, they can face civil liability as well. 

Suffering injuries in a car accident caused by a drunk driver can come with many challenges. Your injuries can impact your life in the short and long term, and you may face severe financial troubles as a result. 

If you’ve been injured by a drunk driver, do not hesitate to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney. An attorney can evaluate your situation and provide guidance and direction for your case, working diligently to get you the best possible result. 

Contact the New Mexico Car Accident Lawyers at Curiel & Runion Personal Injury Lawyers Today

If you were injured in an accident in Albuquerque, NM, and need legal help, contact our Albuquerque car accident attorneys at Curiel & Runion Personal Injury Lawyers to schedule a free case review today.

Curiel & Runion Personal Injury Lawyers
400 Gold Avenue SW Suite 650
Albuquerque, NM 87102

(505) 594-3621

Curiel & Runion Car Accident and Personal Injury Lawyers
1221 E Osborn Rd. Suite 201
Phoenix, AZ 85014
(602) 595-5559

Curiel & Runion Personal Injury Lawyers
5151 E Broadway Blvd. Suite 1600
Tucson, AZ 85711
(520) 492-0926