With the holiday season approaching, people in Virginia and all over the country will be attending parties and gatherings with loved ones. Alcohol will most likely be a feature of these parties, which increases the drunk driving risk. How much you drink has a direct impact on your blood alcohol concentration (BAC), which is used to determine whether you’re driving over the legal limit. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention explain how each drink increases your BAC.

The effects of alcohol begin well before you reach the legal limit for driving. Just two drinks in causes BAC to rise to .02%, at which point you’ll experience problems with visual tracking and multi-tasking, two crucial abilities when operating a vehicle. Keep in mind that these numbers are based on standard drink sizes, which vary depending on how potent the drink is. As an example, a standard drink of beer is about 12-ounces, while a standard wine drink is only 5-ounces because wine has a higher alcohol content.

Your BAC will rise to .08% with just four standard drinks. By this point, you may experience trouble controlling your speed, processing information, and your perception will be impaired. With another drink, you’ll be at .10%, and two more drinks will bring you to .15%. Significant impairment will occur as a result, including loss of muscle control and balance.

When it comes to DUI prevention, sobriety checkpoints are a common method of apprehending drivers over the legal limit. Checkpoints are usually created on weekends or holidays and are publicized to deter drivers from drinking and driving. If you are charged and convicted of drunk driving, you may be subject to the installation of an ignition interlock device on your vehicle. These devices measure a person’s BAC before driving and prevent the vehicle from starting if the person is over the legal limit.