Alcohol is quickly absorbed. In just a few minutes, the alcohol from one drink starts to circulate throughout the body and affect the brain.
Many people don’t know that a 12-ounce beer is just as intoxicating — and just as potent — as a one-ounce shot of hard liquor or a five-ounce glass of wine. As a general guideline, your body can process about one drink per hour. If you have two drinks in a sixty minute period, after the first hour you’re still impaired.
In Texas, a person is legally intoxicated if he/she has a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08% or above. Factors that determine BAC include:
- Number of drinks
- How fast drinks are consumed
- Size, weight and body weight
- Age and gender
- Food (to a much lesser extent)
Riding a motorcycle is a demanding task that requires focus and attention. Alcohol and other drugs rob you of your ability to think clearly, use good judgment, react quickly, and maintain control over your motorcycle. These effects start the moment you’ve had your first drink.
|Typical Effects||Predictable Effects on Driving/Riding|
|.02%||Some loss of judgment
Slight body warmth
|Decline in visual functions (rapid tracking of a moving target)
Decline in ability to perform two tasks at the same time (divided attention)
May have loss of small-muscle control (e.g., focusing your eyes)
Usually good feeling
Release of inhibition
Reduced ability to track moving objects
Reduced response to emergency driving situations
|.08%||Muscle coordination becomes poor (e.g., balance, speech, vision, reaction time, and hearing)
Harder to detect danger
Judgment, self-control, reasoning, and memory are impaired
Short-term memory loss
Reduced information processing capability (e.g., signal detection, visual search)
|.10%||Clear deterioration of reaction time and control
Slurred speech, poor coordination, and slowed thinking
|Reduced ability to maintain lane position and brake appropriately|
|.15%||Far less muscle control than normal
Vomiting may occur (unless this level is reached slowly or a person has developed a tolerance for alcohol)
Major loss of balance
|Substantial impairment in vehicle control, attention to driving task, and in necessary visual and auditory information processing|
|1 Information in this table shows the BAC level at which the effect usually is first observed, and has been gathered from a variety of sources including the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, the American Medical Association, the National Commission Against Drunk Driving, and www.webMD.com.|
If you’re planning to drink:
- Leave your bike at home.
- You won’t be tempted to take it out when alcohol impairs your judgment.
- Get a ride with a non-drinking friend in a car.
- You could be as dangerous on the back of a bike as you would be driving one.
- Live to ride another day.
Many people don’t understand that alcohol, drugs and motorcycle riding don’t mix. Impaired riding is no accident—nor is it a victimless crime. Riding a motorcycle while impaired is not worth the risk of losing your life, killing an innocent person, ruining your bike or going to jail.
Your chances of being stopped for riding under the influence of alcohol are increasing. Law enforcement is being stepped up across the country in response to the senseless deaths and injuries caused by drinking drivers and riders.
The consequences of drunk riding are serious and real. Here’s just a sample of what you have to lose.
- your motorcycle will be impounded in placed in storage
- bond, legal costs, and towing fees
- up to $10,000 in fines if convicted of DWI
- up to $2,000 every year for 3 years to keep your driver’s license if convicted of DWI
- increased insurance premiums if convicted of DWI
- lost time from work means lost wages
- Minimum 72 hours in jail following arrest
- Up to 10 years in jail if convicted of DWI
- Mandatory community service
Your driver’s license
- Suspension for up to 2 years if convicted of DWI
- Experience being handcuffed and place in the back of patrol car
- A criminal record for the rest of your life
- Explain your arrest to family, friends, and co-workers
- Live to ride another day.