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The Intoxilyzer: Impaired Driving vs Over 80

Alright Richard, lots of our clients ask what’s the difference between impaired driving and over 80. The best example I can say, and let’s say you’re 16 years old, and you just got your driver’s license and you’ve never had beer before, and you have one, you have say 12 ounces, a single beer, given that your body’s never experienced beer before and you’re at maybe 150 pounds, if you did actual testing, you’d be under 80 mg, so you could never be convicted of over 80 mg because maybe you’re at 40 and 40 is way less than 80. But given your lack of experience with alcohol, you’d be walking funny, talking funny, not driving worth a crap, so guilty of impairment. Keep in mind also that legal tests for impairment is, is there any impairment, even slight, proven beyond a reasonable doubt, in terms of your ability to operate a motor vehicle. Now let’s take the reverse. Guy is 60 years old, he’s been drinking hard for 40 years, blows 100, there he’d be walking fine, driving fine, physicals probably perfect, not guilty of impaired because his tolerance is so high. But keep in mind that 100 is more than 80 so he gets convicted of the over 80, not guilty of the impaired. Now you play rugby right? Yeah proud member of Muddy York Rugby Football. Alright and the halves are how long, 40 minutes, 35? 40 minute halves, 80 minute games. Alright and you play in the sun, you get pretty tired and dehydrated? Oh yeah I’m a fullback I run a lot. So what you have to keep in mind is even though you probably have good tolerance for alcohol, you chug a couple pints of alcohol, even if you’re 60 mg, or 70 mg, and under 80, given you’re so tired, you’re so dehydrated, you get tested by the police, you’re under 80, but chances are you may be impaired because you’re so tired, you have alcohol in your system, you’re dehydrated, you’re hot, and you’re exhausted. So therefore never chug two pints of beer after a rugby game.

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