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11. Driving Under the Influence

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BAC and Types of Beverages

When a person consumes 12 drinks, he or she could reach a BAC level as high as 0.5%. Death can result from this level of intoxication.

Beer can exceed 5% alcohol, wine is typically 12% alcohol, and distilled spirits are typically at least 40% alcohol.

There is typically the same amount of alcohol in a twelve ounce can of beer, a five ounce glass of wine, and a drink containing one shot (1 1/4 ounce) of an 80-proof distilled spirit.

When you take a drink, the alcohol is absorbed into the linings of the stomach and small intestine and is promptly disseminated by the bloodstream to parts of the body, including the brain.

About 5% of the alcohol you consume is absorbed in your mouth and throat and 95% is absorbed in the digestive system.

Alcohol cannot be retained in your body's tissue without serious health effects.

In addition:

  • only 2 to 5% is passed unchanged by body functions
  • less than 10% is eliminated by kidneys, lungs and skin
  • the remainder, about 90%, must be slowly eliminated by your liver through oxidation
  • Alcohol adversely affects your ability to drive by effecting your judgment, awareness, vision and reaction time.

    Alcohol:

  • diminishes your ability to identify hazards
  • diminishes your ability to make a correct decision once a hazard is identified
  • slows your reaction time even if the correct decision is made. If you are under the influence of alcohol you may be unable to handle an emergency situation that requires quick decision making and reflexes.
  • Depending on your weight, as little as one drink can make you an unsafe driver. It is unlawful for drivers under the age of 21 to drive with any amount of alcohol in their system.

    Distance, depth, and speed perception are all affected by the consumption of alcohol. To steer and brake smoothly, a driver needs to be well coordinated and must know where the cars are around him or her are and how fast they are going.

    Many alcohol related crashes occur at high speeds because the drivers who were drinking had no sense of how fast they were going.

    Lesson Summary


      

    Lesson 11 Quiz


    You will now answer 5 questions to test what you learned during this lesson. You must answer all questions correctly to receive completion credit for this lesson. You may answer the questions as many times as necessary to get them right.

    You should review the lesson material if you don't do well on the quiz.

    1. BAC stands for:


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    2. After completing all 11 lessons and then passing the final test, your certificate of completion of driver education will be:


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    3. If you are under 21, the zero tolerance policy for drinking and driving will revoke your license even if your BAC is as low as what percent?


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    4. Designated Drivers:


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    5. Alcohol is a:


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