About 37 people in the United States die in drunk-driving crashes every day. That is more than one person every hour.
In 2021, 13,384 people died in alcohol-impaired driving traffic deaths — a 14% increase from 2020.
These deaths were all preventable, which is one reason for the DMV to make sure you understand the effect alcohol and drugs have on your driving.
The BAC Table in the Handbook
By law, there is always a question on the DMV test based on the handbook table showing BAC estimates based on how many drinks a person drinks, their gender, and body weight.
It is an excellent idea to study the table and understand what it tries to tell you.
This alcohol awareness test with 15 questions addresses essential facts about alcohol laws and the consequences of driving under the influence of either alcohol or drugs or a combination of both.
Remember that the laws apply to both alcohol and drugs, and they do not see a difference between illegal drugs and medications you get from a doctor or pharmacy. Many drugs have the potential to affect your driving ability, and it is your responsibility to know when you can drive safely.
You should never drink alcohol while you are taking other drugs. Some drugs multiply the effects of alcohol. The adverse effects are not just doubled or added together – they are multiplied. These effects not only reduce your ability to be a safe driver but could cause serious health problems, even death.
California Alcohol Laws
California has a zero-tolerance law for minors. The law means that it is illegal for you to drive if you have a BAC of 0.01% or higher if you are under 21 years old. In reality, it means that you are breaking the law with even the smallest amount of alcohol in your blood.
For adults, the BAC limit is 0.08%, but it is essential to know that even one drink can impair your ability to drive safely.
Most people experience adverse effects of alcohol, even at levels lower than the legal limit. Depending on how badly alcohol impairs you, a law enforcement officer can arrest you, and a court can convict you of a DUI even without a BAC measurement.
You should also understand that California’s Administrative Per Se law requires the DMV to suspend your driving privilege if the police arrest you for driving under the influence. The officer can take your driver’s license on the spot and give you a temporary one for 30 days. If the court later convicts you of a DUI, the DMV will suspend or revoke your driving privilege, usually for up to one year.
California Open Container Laws
It is always against the law to drink any alcohol, smoke or eat a cannabis product while you are driving or riding as a passenger in a vehicle.
This means that you cannot carry any alcohol or cannabis in your vehicle unless the container is sealed and unopened. If you are under 21, someone over 21 must also be in the car.
If a container is open, keep it in the trunk or where passengers typically do not sit.