It is that time of year when many California beaches are filled with college students who are on spring break. In addition to students who attend schools in this state, there is usually an influx of visitors from other states, as well. Spring break can be fun and exciting but also dangerous due to increased numbers of cars on the roads and, unfortunately, lots of drunk drivers.
Many people have misguided beliefs as to how the average person’s body metabolizes alcohol. There is also misinformation regarding how much alcohol a person can consume before his or her ability to operate a motor vehicle becomes impaired. Staying safe hinges upon making responsible choices and also learning to recognize the signs intoxication in other people.
Impairment may set in before blood alcohol content reaches legal limit
In California, a licensed driver who is old enough to consume alcohol may legally operate a motor vehicle after consuming alcohol provided his or her blood alcohol content (BAC) level registers below .08 when tested (for drivers under the age of 21, the BAC limit is just .01. This does not mean, however, that person’s ability to focus on the road while driving or his or her reaction time, etc., will not be delayed or impaired before reaching the BAC threshold for criminal charges. In fact, many people show signs of impairment after having just one or two alcoholic beverages.
If a spring break collision results in personal injury
There is no way to know how many drunk drivers happen to be on a particular California roadway at any given time during spring break. A collision caused by a drunk driver may result in severe, perhaps fatal injuries. A person who survives a crash may suffer catastrophic injuries, such as those affecting the brain or spine. State law allows a recovering victim or an immediate family member of a deceased victim to seek justice against a drunk driver by filing a legal claim in a civil court.