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Although we are fighting a war, be responsible: How Drinking Really Affects Your Driving

How Drinking Really Affects Your Driving

Credit: DUI Bail Bonds Las Vegas - Creative Commons Attribution license

Credit: DUI Bail Bonds Las Vegas – Creative Commons Attribution license

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How Drinking Really Affects Your Driving

Drinking and driving are two activities that can have catastrophic outcomes when they are combined. The results of drinking and driving can have serious consequences resulting in jail time, suspension of a license, hefty fines, serious injury, and, in more tragic situations, death. These consequences can easily be avoided by securing the help of a designated driver or simply calling a taxi when transportation after drinking is needed. To truly understand the risks of drinking and driving, it is vital to understand how alcohol consumption affects a person’s ability to drive.

Q: How much alcohol is too much to consume when an individual is planning to drive?

A: The amount of alcohol that is consumed by an individual can result in varying blood alcohol content levels. Several factors, including a person’s weight, gender, which type of alcohol they are drinking, and whether they ate or took medications prior to drinking, can all influence the amount of alcohol that is found in a person’s system. In most areas, a person who has a blood content alcohol level of 0.08 percent would be considered to be driving drunk. At this level, a lot of individuals would not consider themselves to be drunk, although the effects of alcohol are already taking place. Even those driving with a slight buzz can cause injuries, accidents, or major damage to a vehicle. The injuries and accidents can still be fatal, and the damage to a vehicle can be so extensive that it is unable to be fixed simply by purchasing cheap car parts online or by visiting a local mechanic. Because of this, it is best to avoid drinking any amount of alcohol before getting behind the wheel.

Q: Why is drinking and driving dangerous?

A: Drinking and driving is dangerous because of the way that alcohol affects the body. Alcohol in the bloodstream can cause a person to have blurred vision, delayed reactions, and an inability to concentrate or to stay awake. These reactions to alcohol can become dangerous for the driver, passengers, and anyone else who is on or near the roads while they are driving. An intoxicated individual may be unable to see a pedestrian due to blurred vision, they may not be able to recognize that a car in front of them is stopping in a reasonable amount of time, or they may simply fall asleep at the wheel while driving down the road. Any of these circumstances can have fatal outcomes for the driver or innocent bystanders.

Q: How long after drinking should someone wait before driving?

A: Some individuals who partake in drinking believe that they are no longer intoxicated after a few short hours. They may stop drinking an hour or two before they plan to drive, or they may attempt to sober up by drinking coffee and eating. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to determine when the effects of alcohol have truly gone away. In fact, some people may even find it difficult to drive after consuming alcohol the day before if they are suffering from a hangover. To ensure safety, it is best to get a full night of sleep and then assess whether the individual is excessively tired or feeling unwell in the morning. If this is the case, it may be best to rest until these symptoms subside. For those that frequently drink, there are systems available to assist individuals in determining whether it is safe for them to drive. These include various breath-test systems. Devices that prevent the car from starting if the driver’s blood-alcohol content level is too high are one of the best options.

Q: What if someone does not have a designated driver but must get home?

A: When a person is planning to consume alcohol, it is always best to plan for transportation home before they begin drinking. Although this sounds like an excellent idea in theory, sometimes, this does not happen. When an individual finds themselves too intoxicated to drive with no plans for transportation available, there are other options. An intoxicated person may wish to call a taxi to take them home. For those who are unable to secure a taxi, there are usually various designated driver services available. In some locations, there are services that are designed specifically to provide rides to intoxicated individuals. Some of these services even operate for free. Regardless of how an individual gets home after a night of drinking, it is vital that they arrive at their destination safely.