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
Read Connecticut laws relating to drinking and driving.
Operating While Under the Influence of Liquor or Drugs
Section 14-227a Connecticut General Statute
- While under the influence of intoxicated liquor or drug or both,
- the person operates a motor vehicle,
- upon a public highway or private road or parking lot for more than ten cars or on school property,
- while the ratio of alcohol in the blood of such person is .08% or more. (person under 21 years of age.02)
- 1st offense $500 to $1,000 fine, and (1) not more than 6 months in jail (48 hours mandatory) and 1 year license suspension or (2) Probation, 100 hours community service and 1 year license suspension.
- 2nd offense within 10 years $1000 to $4,000 fine, and not more than 2 years in jail (120 days mandatory), probation (required 100 hour community service) and 3 years license suspension.
- 3rd offense within 10 years $2,000 to $8,000 fine, and not more than 3 years in jail (one year mandatory), probation (required 100 hour community service) and permanent license revocation.
Drinking While Operating a Motor Vehicle
Section 53a-213 Connecticut General Statute
- The actor is operating a motor vehicle AND
- drinking any alcohol liquor
- while operating such motor vehicle upon a public highway or road of this state or in any parking area for ten cars or more or upon any private road on which a speed limit has been established or upon school property.
Class C Misdemeanor - Not more than three months and/or fine up to $500.
Implied Consent to Test
Section 14-227b Connecticut General Statute
Any person who operates a motor vehicle in the state shall be deemed to have given his consent to a chemical analysis of his blood, breath or urine and if said person is a minor, his parents or guardian shall also be deemed to have given his consent.
- Refusal to take Test - Loss of license for 24 hours.
- After MVD review) - Loss of license for six months.