Do you know how many drinks you can have before you're in danger of getting a drunken driving violation?
This year in Avon and Avon Lake, there have been numerous car accidents caused by drunken driving (see below), and several other people pulled over while driving drunk. As we head into the holiday season, Patch wants you to know when enough is enough, epecially on New Year's Eve.
When police pull drivers over for suspected drunken driving, officers ask them to perform field sobriety tests and to take a breath test to measure Blood Alcohol Content.
A BAC test measures the percentage of alcohol present in a person's bloodstream. Ohio's legal limit is 0.08.
According to the Virginia Tech Alcohol Abuse Prevention website, every 40 minutes, 0.01 percent of alcohol leaves your system.
The limit for people under 21 is 0.02, said township Chief Michael McNeely. Is it concievable for someone to blow a 0.01 and still be charged?
"Yes," McNeely said. "Any alcohol you consume will get you charged with underaged drinking if you're under age. It's a zero-tolerance policy. Even if we smell beer, you can be charged with underage drinking."
So what's the difference between being charged with a DUI/OVI or underage drinking?
"With an OVI, officers have to show that someone's ability is impaired," McNeely said. "With underage drinking, you have to prove someone has been drinking. You can be charged with both."
Check out the chart in the media portion of this article to see what your limit is. And remember, how you feel also depends on your alcohol tolerance, McNeely said.
"The only safe driving limit is no alcohol," McNeely said. "If you choose to drink, make sure you have a designated driver."
By the Numbers
In Avon Lake, 35 people were charged with a DUI as of Dec. 13:
- The youngest person cited for a DUI was 17. Four individuals were charged.
- The oldest person cited was 65.
- 37 percent were in their 20s
- 7 of those charged caused motor vehicle accidents
- 16 people refused a breathalyzer
- The highest BAC recorded was .221 (a 26 year old)
- Most citations were issued between 2 a.m. and 3 a.m. and 10 p.m. and 11 p.m.
In Avon, which includes a heavily traveled I-90, there were 108 OVI charges.
- The youngest person cited was 18
- The oldest person cited was 65
- 3 individuals had prior convictions and refused a BAC
- 26 arrested had a BAC greater than .17
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