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When does drinking affect your ability to drive?

California drivers like you know the numbers to avoid if you don't want to get a DUI. However, measuring blood alcohol content (or BAC) might not actually be the best way to determine whether or not you're okay to get behind the wheel of a vehicle.

The University of Texas did a study that showed the different ways alcohol affected driving ability. The comprehension, concentration and judgment of drivers were understandably far lower than usual after drinking. After a certain amount of alcohol, your vision, reaction time, coordination and hearing will also suffer. However, how quickly the drinks affect a person differs wildly from one individual to another.

Basically, one person may be able to have two drinks without hitting the BAC limit. You, on the other hand, may hit the limit in one drink or less. It boils down to how well your body processes alcohol. The same principle applies to how quickly a person "sobers up". One person may need a few hours to be sober enough to drive, while another may burn off alcohol much more quickly.

BAC limits are put in place as a point that no one should go past, but that limit isn't necessarily a measure everyone should use. In essence, even if your BAC number is below the legal level, you still might not be okay to drive. In reality, having just one drink might be one drink too many for you. It's best to play it safe rather than risk things just because you're legally under the limit.

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