Olympic swimmer, Michael Phelps, was recently arrested on a second drunk driving charge in Maryland after being stopped for speeding through a tunnel in Baltimore. Phelps was, by police records, acting intoxicated and was administered several sobriety tests and a breathalyzer, on which he registered a .14 blood alcohol concentration (BAC). The legal BAC limit in all states is .08, and is usually considered the time when people may start slurring speech or get rowdy in bars. So, what does a .14 look like, and how dangerous can it be to drive at that level of intoxication?
At a .14 BAC, this is what you look like:
- You may have major problems standing, walking or sitting up straight.
- Your memory may be cloudy.
- You may get belligerent or aggressive; the “fun” of drinking is gone.
- You may not be able to speak clearly.
- You could black out.
If you have ever seen a person with the .14 BAC “look” then you already know they’re too drunk to drive. But, this is a scenario that happens each day, and puts lives in danger – an especially scary thought when it comes to habitual drunk driving offenders.
In Maryland, for a second DUI offense, you will face the following:
- Up to $2,000 fine.
- A mandatory minimum of five days in jail, and up to two years of incarceration possible.
- 12 months with a revoked license.
- Mandatory ignition interlock installation.
- Alcohol abuse assessment and program.
At .08 BAC, you are legally too drunk to drive, meaning your ability to make good decisions has diminished considerably – not to mention your physical coordination. At .14 BAC, you are clearly unable to drive and should never get behind the wheel of a car. Michael Phelps may have a long way to go to get beyond his upcoming DUI charge, but, he can also be an example of how risky drinking and driving is for us all.