In Oklahoma and most other states, an individual cannot operate a motor vehicle if his or her blood alcohol content, or BAC, is higher than .08%. In Utah, the legal limit is .05%, and commercial drivers must stay below .04% if they wish to comply with the law. Drivers under the age of 21 are generally prohibited from having any amount of alcohol in their systems while operating a motor vehicle.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, impairment can occur at any point after a person consumes an alcoholic beverage. Those who have a BAC of .02% are more likely to be distracted while driving and lose the ability to track other people, cars and animals on the road. At .05%, a person may not be able to respond in an appropriate manner in an emergency situation. It may also be harder to steer or otherwise remain in control of a car.

By the time a person’s BAC reaches .15%, it may be difficult for an individual to stand or otherwise exhibit control over his or her body. At this point, a person may be at risk for vomiting or other negative health consequences. The exact impact that drinking alcohol can have on an individual depends on that person’s height, weight and several other factors.

Those who are charged with DUI may spend time in jail, pay a fine or face other penalties if convicted. An attorney may dispute that a person was legally intoxicated when taken into custody. This might be done by casting doubt on tests used to determine a person’s BAC or other evidence used to assert that a person was not capable of safely operating a motor vehicle. An attorney’s efforts may result in a favorable plea deal.