How Alcohol Affects Your Mind, Your Body & Your Driving
Public campaigns against drinking and driving have done an excellent job of raising our awareness about the dangers of this behavior. Unfortunately, far too many people still don’t have a real understanding of how alcohol can affect their ability to safely operate a motor vehicle. They may feel like they have a higher tolerance or know how to quickly sober up. They may think they are just a little buzzed or tipsy, but not too drunk to drive.
The truth is: No one is immune to the effects of alcohol. Getting behind the wheel after drinking is a dangerous and potentially deadly decision. At Spaulding Injury Law, we encourage you to educate yourself on the effects of alcohol and make smart decisions to keep yourself and others on the road safe.
What Is One Drink?
- Beer: 12 ounces (5% alcohol content)
- Malt liquor: 8 ounces (7% alcohol content)
- Wine: 5 ounces (12% alcohol content)
- Liquor: 1.5 ounces (80-proof or 40% alcohol content)
How Is Your Driving Affected?
# of Drinks
Blood Alcohol Level
|Blood alcohol concentration: 0.02%||
|Blood alcohol concentration: 0.05%||
|Blood alcohol concentration: 0.08%||
|Blood alcohol concentration: 0.10%||
|Blood alcohol concentration: 0.15%||
Alcohol’s Effects on the Brain & the Body
Alcohol has significant effects on how you think and how your body functions. In addition to affecting your ability to drive, drinking can cause damage to vital organs such as the heart, liver, and pancreas.
Alcohol severely impacts the areas of your brain that are responsible for judgement, making it difficult to react quickly.
Alcohol and other drugs can cause blurred vision, trouble focusing, and double vision. Drivers who are under the influence also have problems judging distance, speed, and other vehicles’ movement. Alcohol can also impair a driver’s ability to distinguish colors on traffic signs and signals.
Alcohol’s effects on the brain directly impact how the body is able to respond. Slowed response times affect a driver’s ability to brake, steer, and otherwise control the vehicle to avoid hazards. In addition, impaired drivers may experience drowsiness and be overall less alert.
Despite what you make have heard, there is no trick to sobering up quickly.
- Fresh Air
- Cold Showers
Time is the only way to sober up. It takes an hour or so for one regular drink to get through the circulatory system. The more drinks you have, the longer you need to wait before driving.
The Numbers Don’t Lie: Statistics
Americans age 16 or older reported driving under the influence of alcohol during a 12-month period
Of fatal traffic crashes each year involve alcohol or drugs
Decreased reaction time for a driver with a BAC of 0.08, the legal limit
The additional distance a driver would travel at 70 mph before reacting to a hazard
2.69 times higher
Risk of a driver with a BAC of 0.08 getting into a crash vs. a sober driver
5 times higher
Risk of a driver with a BAC of 0.10 getting into a crash
If you’ve been injured by a drunk driver in Georgia, call us now and speak with a nearby drunk driving accident lawyer serving Atlanta, Alpharetta, Lawrenceville and Savannah.
Sources: https://healthblog.uofmhealth.org/wellness-prevention/how-alcohol-impairs-your-ability-to-drive https://www.nhtsa.gov/sites/nhtsa.dot.gov/files/alcoholanddrugs.pdf https://www.healthline.com/health/alcohol/effects-on-body https://www.cdc.gov/alcohol/fact-sheets/alcohol-use.htm https://www.cdc.gov/motorvehiclesafety/pdf/impaired-driving-new/CDC-impaired-driving-fact-sheet-Georgia.pdf