Driving Impaired — How Alcohol Takes A Toll On Drivers

Driving Impaired — How Alcohol Takes A Toll On Drivers

Driving under the influence (DUI) and driving while intoxicated (DWI) are very common traffic violations. These are also two of the most frequent reasons why road accidents occur. When you think about it, such problems can be avoided using simple solutions. The simplest rule that people often have a hard time keeping to is — “Don’t drink and drive.” But why is it that there are still so many drivers who are caught with blood alcohol levels that are significantly higher than the legal limit? It is the responsibility of each and every driver to keep roads safer for everyone. One step to resolving the issue is by understanding the ways by which alcohol can affect a person’s driving capabilities.

Understanding Blood Alcohol Content (BAC)osteoren en farmacias

Oftentimes, the first step that authorities take in order to determine if a driver has had some alcohol is by determining his BAC. This is a medical way to measure a person’s level of intoxication. The legal limit in 50 U.S. states is 0.08. In many areas, there is a zero-tolerance policy against drivers who are under 21 years old.

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Effects of Alcohol

Alcohol affects each bodily system differently. Here are some examples on how the substance can impair human senses.

– Decreased Perception and Alertness

Perception is how a person understands his surroundings and how he responds to information based on certain external stimuli. Alertness is the level of vigilance or watchfulness. Both of which can become impaired at BAC levels of 0.03 to 0.04. Alcohol can affect how a person thinks and processes information. For instance, his ability to recognize road hazards will be impaired. His powers of observation become severely limited, which is why he may not be able to notice a child that’s crossing the road or a car that’s approaching.

– Slow Response Time

Response or reaction time pertains to how quick individuals act in response to stimuli. Let’s say that Joe was driving and the person in front of him stops suddenly. If Joe has had a few shots of tequila beforehand, he will probably respond much more slowly than if he was clearheaded.

– Sleepiness

Drowsiness can result even if BAC is just 0.01. So, even though the BAC is technically still within the legal limit, a driver could cause a car collision because he is too sleepy while driving. A lot of automobile accidents are due to drowsiness or fatigue-related incidents.

– Distressed Time and Spatial Orientation

So many individuals who drink alcohol say, “I can’t remember what happened.” The reason for this is that alcohol disrupts time and spatial orientation. After alcohol consumption, a person could become incapable of keeping track of time. It’s also likely that he’ll feel confused. He’ll have a harder time finding his sense of direction and even his sense of self-awareness becomes severely impaired.

– Aggression

Many people say that alcohol gives “false courage” or “Dutch courage.” It is true for some because this substance can cause individuals to lose their inhibitions. Basically, alcohol just makes others do stupid things because their perception and awareness are impaired. When someone becomes overly aggressive due to alcohol, he might drive more carelessly. He doesn’t think about safety and negative consequences. It’s possible that he might also get into fights or illegal road races with other drivers.

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This post was written by Claire Taylor, a freelance writer who often blogs about issues regarding health that also impact driving behavior. Some of her write-ups have been used by Action Legal Group and other law firms.