Each time an individual consumes an alcoholic beverage, his or her blood alcohol content increases by .02 percent. A standard beverage in the United States is 14 grams, which is roughly one beer, one shot of liquor or a glass of wine. After one drink, an individual's BAC is .02 percent, and he or she may notice a small loss of judgment.
After three drinks, an individual may start to lose his or her inhibition as well as control over small muscles. People may always find themselves to be in a good mood and display exaggerated behavior. Those who try to drive with a BAC of .05 percent may have trouble steering or reacting to emergency situations. A person who consumes a fourth drink will have a BAC of as high as .08 percent and will exhibit a lack of self-control and an inability to sense danger.
Anyone who tries to operate a vehicle at this point may have trouble controlling their speed while driving. Once an individual's blood alcohol content goes above .10 percent, he or she may start slurring speech and may vomit depending on how quickly the alcohol was consumed and that person's tolerance for alcohol. At this blood alcohol concentration, drivers may have trouble with braking and maintaining their lane.
Those who operate a motor vehicle while impaired by alcohol could be charged with drunk driving if stopped by law enforcement authorities. Penalties may include jail time, fines or a suspended license. As a result, a person who is in this position may want to have the assistance of a criminal defense attorney in developing a strategy to combat the charges. This could include challenging the field sobriety tests that were administered.