In Tennessee and in many other states in the nation, drivers who have a blood alcohol content level of 0.08 percent or higher are considered legally intoxicated, according to the Governors Highway Safety Association. Research has found that when the amount of alcohol in the blood reaches this level, drivers experience significant impairment, making it difficult and hazardous for them to operate a vehicle. Variances in weight, sex and the ability to process alcohol through the body, however, can have an effect on people who have a BAC level that measures less that the legal limit.

Mothers against Drunk Driving reported that BAC levels as low as 0.02 percent can have an influence on a motorist’s behavior while behind the wheel. At this level, drivers may experience an increased inability to multi-task, or perform two complex tasks at the same time. This means that using a cellphone or reaching to pick an item up off of the floor with this BAC level could increase the risk of an accident.

With a BAC level of 0.05 percent, drivers may have problems steering, staying in their lanes and reacting to roadway hazards. For example, a non-intoxicated driver may be able to brake quickly for a child who darts out into the road. A driver with a 0.05 percent BAC level on the other hand, may have difficulties responding to the emergency situation, and may not be able to brake in time. Drivers at this level of intoxication could lose the ability to focus their eyes properly, making it hard for them to see clearly.

Even low levels of alcohol can affect a motorist’s ability to drive safely on the road.