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Letter: Motorcycles, alcohol don't mix

It's that time of year again when motorcycles are pulled out of the Willmar-area garages after a long Minnesota winter.

So it's time to review what any alcohol in the blood can do to judgment, especially to a motorcycle driver.

A blood alcohol level of 0.01 (just one beer) to 0.04 percent can lessen judgment as the drinker is less critical of their own actions, and reaction time is slowed. Also, with this small amount of alcohol, indications of mental relaxation may appear.

Move that up to a BAC of 0.05 to 0.07 percent and judgment is not sound, thinking and reasoning powers are not clear and the ability to perform complex skills is lessened.

At a BAC of 0.08 percent or above, judgment and reasoning powers are severely hampered and the individual cannot complete common simple tasks without errors.

In short, having any alcohol in one's blood increases the risk of crashing by five times. Having a BAC greater than 0.05 percent increases the risk of crashing about 40-fold.

In fact, studies have shown that 46 percent of all motorcyclists killed in crashes were using alcohol.

In short, riders should never mix alcohol with riding. Even low, legal limits of BAC increase your risk to unacceptable levels while riding a motorcycle.

Yes, there are organizations which sponsor rides and stop at places that sell liquor. Some even encourage bikers to have a beer.

That is unacceptable.

Ted Storck