Motorists engage in secondary behavior during approximately half of their time on the road. Hands-free mobile phone conversations are legal all around the country, but slow reaction times by a significant 26.5 percent, according to astudy from the UK. Eating slows reaction times by up to 44 percent. Drivers who text slow their reaction times by 37.4 percent. In contrast, drivers at the legal limit for alcohol in the UK, which is .08 BAC, only demonstrated a 12.5 percent increase in reaction time. The National Highway Administration finds this disparity to be even greater, surmising that driving a vehicle while texting is six times more dangerous than driving while intoxicated.
This becomes even more troublesome when it is taken into consideration that some states don’t require a minimum BAC level for a DUI; the violation level is “impaired to the slightest degree.” Someone who blows a .03 BAC level may be perfectly capable of driving safely, but the laws as drafted in many states do not distinguish. If caught at a DUI checkpoint, even though the driver has not made a single driving error, the driver can likely expect to be fully prosecuted with little chance of escaping the draconian consequences of a DUI conviction.