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  • Miami Police Set Up DUI Checkpoint For Holiday Drivers
    • Image Credit: Joe Raedle via Getty Images

    How much is too much?

  • beer on a bar
    • Image Credit: Associated Press

    Defining one drink

  • blood alcohol level after two beers
    • Image Credit: Center for Disease Control

    About 2 Beers = .02% Blood Alcohol Level

    After about two drinks, the average adult male weighing 160 pounds would likely have a blood alcohol level of around .02 percent. That, says the CDC, would lead to:

    • Some loss of judgment
    • Relaxation
    • Slight body warmth
    • Altered mood



    Predictable effects on driving:

    • Decline in visual functions (rapid tracking of a moving target)
    • Decline in ability to perform two tasks at the same time (divided attention)
  • blood alcohol level after three beers
    • Image Credit: Center for Disease Control

    About 3 Beers = .05% Blood Alcohol Level

    After about three drinks, the average adult male weighing 160 pounds would likely have a blood alcohol level of around .05 percent. That, says the CDC, would lead to:

    • Exaggerated behavior
    • May have loss of small-muscle control (e.g., focusing your eyes)
    • Impaired judgment
    • Usually good feeling
    • Lowered alertness
    • Release of inhibition



    Predictable effects on driving:

    Decline in visual functions (rapid tracking of a moving target)
    Decline in ability to perform two tasks at the same time (divided attention)

  • blood alcohol level after four beers
    • Image Credit: Center for Disease Control

    About 4 Beers = .08% Blood Alcohol Level

    After about four drinks, the average adult male weighing 160 pounds would likely have a blood alcohol level of around .08 percent. That, says the CDC, would lead to:

    • Muscle coordination becomes poor (e.g., balance, speech, vision, reaction time, and hearing)
    • Harder to detect danger
    • Judgment, self-control, reasoning, and memory are impaired



    Predictable effects on driving:

    • Concentration
    • Short-term memory loss
    • Speed control
    • Reduced information processing capability (e.g., signal detection, visual search)
    • Impaired perception
  • blood alcohol level after five beers
    • Image Credit: Center for Disease Control

    About 5 Beers = .10% Blood Alcohol Level

    After about five drinks, the average adult male weighing 160 pounds would likely have a blood alcohol level of around .10 percent. That, says the CDC, would lead to:

    • Clear deterioration of reaction time and control
    • Slurred speech, poor coordination, and slowed thinking


    Predictable effects on driving:

    • Reduced ability to maintain lane position and brake appropriately
  • blood alcohol level after seven beers
    • Image Credit: Center for Disease Control

    About 7 Beers = .15% Blood Alcohol Level

    After about seven drinks, the average adult male weighing 160 pounds would likely have a blood alcohol level of around .15 percent. That, says the CDC, would lead to:

    • Far less muscle control than normal
    • Vomiting may occur (unless this level is reached slowly or a person has developed a tolerance
    • for alcohol)
    • Major loss of balance


    Predictable effects on driving:

    • Substantial impairment in vehicle control, attention to driving task, and in necessary visual and auditory information processing
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