According to the
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), “Every day, 28 people in the United States die on alcohol-related
vehicle crashes – that’s one person every 51 minutes.”
While drunk driving fatalities have reduced by one-third in the past 30
years, over 10,000 people are still killed in drunk driving crashes every
year, the NHTSA reports.
How does alcohol affect driving ability? For starters, alcohol affects
the way the brain functions. In fact, alcohol reduces the brain’s
ability to function properly. When a person consumes alcohol, it directly
affects thinking, reasoning, muscle function, and judgement. Each of these
abilities are necessary for safe driving, so alcohol compromises a person’s
ability to drive safely.
Negative Effects of Alcohol
As a person increases the amount of alcohol consumed, the negative effects
of the alcohol increase accordingly, and the more the central nervous
system is affected. When alcohol is consumed, it’s absorbed by the
walls of the small intestine and stomach. From there, the alcohol is passed
into the bloodstream and the liver metabolizes it.
In all states, it’s illegal to drive with a
blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08% or more. Once a person’s BAC reaches .08%, the following
starts to occur:
- The person’s muscle coordination becomes poor. For example, the person
accidentally knocks over drinks, they bump into things, and have trouble
standing upright without stumbling.
- Reaction time is slowed down.
- Speech and vision are affected.
- Self-control is affected.
- Memory and judgement are impaired.
As the person consumes more alcohol, the negative effects become more pronounced.
For example, at .10% BAC, the person will experience slurred speech and
poor coordination. At .15% BAC, the person may vomit and they will experience
a major loss of balance.
“Driving after drinking is deadly. Yet it still continues to happen
across the United States. If you drive while impaired, you could get
arrested, or worse – be involved in a
traffic crash that causes
serious injury or
death,” says the NHTSA.
Facing DUI charges in Orange County?
Contact the Law Offices of Virginia L. Landry, Inc. for a free case evaluation with the