To operate a motor vehicle in Pennsylvania, a driver must have a blood alcohol content (BAC) of less than .08. A person whose BAC reaches that limit may have a hard time standing, seeing and hearing. It may also be difficult to drive at a reasonable speed or take appropriate action when coming to a stop sign or other traffic signals. While the legal blood alcohol limit for most drivers is .08, impairment can occur after a single drink.
A person who has a BAC of .02 is more likely to be distracted and have a harder time keeping track of moving objects. When a person’s BAC reaches .05, it can be harder to steer or brake quickly in an emergency situation. In Utah, the legal blood alcohol limit is .05, and commercial drivers throughout the country must generally stay below .04 while operating their vehicles.
Many factors will determine what a person’s BAC is at any given time. For instance, a person’s height, weight and gender could play a role in how that person tolerates alcohol. How long a person takes to consume a drink is another important variable when calculating a person’s BAC. A single drink is defined as a shot of liquor, 12 ounces of beer or five ounces of wine.
An individual who is charged with drunk driving may be able to dispute the allegation in court. It may be possible to cast doubt on evidence used to support the DWI charge or claim that an officer didn’t have the requisite reasonable suspicion to conduct a traffic stop. A criminal defense attorney may be able to help a person get evidence suppressed or take other steps to help a defendant obtain a favorable outcome.