Drinking & Driving

  1. Effects of Alcohol
  2. Laws Relating to Drinking & Driving

Some Effects of Alcohol

Alcohol reaches the brain almost immediately after it is consumed. Possible results include:

  • Poor Judgment - Alcohol acts like an anesthetic, dulling areas of the brain that enable people to make sensible decisions.
  • Slowed Reaction Time - Drinking slows reflexes and hinders coordination. Drivers who can't react quickly are a hazard to themselves and others.
  • Loss of Concentration - Drinking may cause drowsiness. When alertness decreases, the chances of having an accident increases.
  • Visual Problems - Alcohol can cause double or multiple vision and blurring. It also reduces side vision, making it difficult to see vehicles approaching from the left or right.

Blood Alcohol Content (BAC)

The legal blood alcohol content in the State of Connecticut is .08%.


Ethyl alcohol is the name for substance in beverages that causes intoxication. It acts as a depressant on the brain and nervous system. It first affects the area of the brain that controls memory, reasoning, and decision making. The nervous system is also depressed which slow down reaction time and the body's coordination.

Absorption & Elimination in the Body

Alcohol requires no digestion. Immediately after swallowing, it is absorbed directly into the bloodstream through the wall of the stomach and small intestine. It happens very quickly. However, the rate of absorption may be slowed down by other factors, such as the presence of food in the stomach.

The alcohol is circulated in the blood to all parts of the body. Except for small amounts which are eliminated through the lungs and urine, the body burns up the alcohol through the process of oxidation. Oxidation takes place in the liver which requires about one hour to burn the amount of alcohol in one drink. Drinking black coffee, taking cold showers, or exercising are of no help in speeding up the rate of this process.


BAC is calculated by parts of alcohol per parts of blood i.e.: .08% (eight parts alcohol per 10,000 parts of blood; 8 per 10,000)

The Effects of Alcohol to Your Body

The effects of alcohol depend on your body weight and the type of drink. How fast you drink, your mood, and the amount of food in your stomach may also affect your response. All have the same amount of pure alcohol (ethanol) -.6 oz..

  • 12 ounces of beer
  • (5% alcohol) = 5 ounces of table wine
  • (12% alcohol) = 1 1/2 ounces 80 proof liquor
  • (40% alcohol)

Approximate Blood Alcohol Percentage

DrinksBody Weight:
100 Pounds
Body Weight:
120 Pounds
Body Weight:
140 Pounds
Body Weight:
160 Pounds
Body Weight:
180 Pounds
Body Weight:
200 Pounds
Body Weight:
220 Pounds
Body Weight:
240 Pounds