Facts About Impaired Driving

What Constitutes Impairment?

Impairment begins with one alcoholic drink – whether it be "hard" liquor, wine or beer. Once alcohol is consumed, it is absorbed by an individual’s blood system, and can be measured as Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC).  Studies show that even one drink decreases one’s ability to react quickly, a factor that can prove fatal when an impaired individual gets behind the wheel of an automobile.

How Do I Know When I'm Past My Limit?

While accepted BAC levels vary from state to state, the rate of absorption in one’s body varies according to an individual’s height, weight, experience with alcohol and food consumed prior to alcohol consumption.  So it's a good idea to assign a designated driver and/or plan alternate modes of transportation when even a minimal amount of alcohol is consumed in any given situation.

What Will Happen To Me If I'm Caught?

If an individual is found to be impaired while driving, he/she will experience criminal repercussions. These repercussions can include fines, the loss of driving privileges, incarceration, higher insurance rates and a criminal record. Law enforcement officers are cracking down on impaired drivers, stepping up their policing activities on a regular basis, and implementing a network of sobriety checkpoints and saturation patrols throughout the year.

The question of being caught, however, is a major factor in the impaired driving problem. The public needs, instead, to ask, what will happen if I don’t get caught? This answer is much more frightening, and carries with it much more dire consequences than fines, prosecution or the loss of one’s license. The destruction impaired drivers inflict upon their communities is immeasurable. Everyone is affected by the impaired driver’s irresponsible and malicious behavior, whether it be from higher taxes or the emotional destruction a family experiences after losing a loved one.

Information above provided by the The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Minnesota Penalties for Driver's
License Sanctions for Impaired Driving

The Minnesota Department of Public Safety published a brochure outlining their penalties and sanctions.

Impaired Driving: Penalties and Driver's License Sanctions

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