The Finnell Firm

With New Year's Eve coming up, many people in Georgia will likely want to celebrate with a few drinks. However, given some analyses about the effects of even low levels of alcohol on a person's driving ability, a person who is planning to drive home after the big party may want to think twice about taking that extra glass of champagne.

In fact, one state has decided to lower the legal limit from .08 blood alcohol content to .05 BAC, meaning people who do choose to drink and drive have less of a proverbial safe harbor before drawing a criminal charge for their behavior.

To the extent there is ever an absolutely safe amount of alcohol to drink, it is important to remember that in the world of civil liability, one's blood alcohol content is less important than it is in the context of criminal law. Studies have collectively shown that even someone under the influence of one or two drinks can have some difficulty driving safely, while a person at .05 BAC, the equivalent of about three drinks, can be downright dangerous on the road.

A person who does not know his or her personal limits, has one too many, and then causes a motor vehicle accident due to poor coordination or other alcohol-related issues does not get a free pass because he or she blows under .08 BAC. If this person causes an injury, he or she may have to pay compensation to his or her victims. This compensation may include reimbursement for medical bills and lost wages, as well as for other damages like pain and suffering.

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