Alcohol and Drugs on Driving

Negative Effects of Alcohol and Drugs on Driving

Driving under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or other substances that may have negative effects on the body is a crime, because being impaired while on the road puts you at greater risk of committing mistakes, and we all know that a single act of negligence can already trigger an accident, injure somebody, and destroy a property. Negligence is defined as failure to exercise care. Carelessness and negligence are enough grounds to bring a driver to court.

But what exactly are the negative effects of alcohol and drugs on drivers, and how do these effects trigger drivers to commit mistakes?

Limited body coordination

Driving requires the efficient coordination between hands, feet, and eyes, and if one of these factors are compromised, you may be in for a traffic accident. Failure to coordinate bodily functions may also be a sign of limited comprehension and concentration skills, resulting in more problems. The intoxicated driver may fail to comprehend traffic signs or concentrate on the road and his lane.

Limited sensory information

Being under the influence limits a driver’s sense of sight, smell, taste, hearing, and touching. These senses can be particularly important in driving, particularly sight. If a driver has impaired vision, he is putting himself in greater risk of collisions with obstructions like road signs and trees, other vehicles, and pedestrians. He will also have a hard time perceiving traffic signs and lights, and road curves and turns.


An often overlooked effect of alcohol and drugs is the fact that they can potentially make drivers more open to stunts and other reckless behaviors like speeding, weaving between lanes, turning sharply, and overtaking without regard to the others around them, and generally disobeying traffic rules. This puts not just the intoxicated driver in danger, but also the others around him who may fail to react on time to his reckless tendencies.

Getting injured in a car accident, particularly because of a drunk driver, is always a terrible experience. But it is a good thing to know that driving under the influence is against the law. The only thing we should worry about now is the proper implementation of the law to deter people from driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs.

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Counter-arguing Charges of Impaired Driving

Driving under the influence (DUI) and driving while intoxicated or driving while impaired (DWI) are serious traffic crimes that refer to driving while impaired by the effects of either alcohol or drugs (illegal, prescription or over-the-counter drugs). Some states use DWI and DUI interchangeably to refer to the same crime, others, on the other hand, differentiate between the two, using DUI to signify lesser intoxication.

In all U.S. states the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level limit is 0.08% (this is usually reached after consuming about four regular bottles of beer within an hour). A driver who registers a 0.08% BAC level will be considered alcohol-impaired and charged with DUI or DWI (if his/her BAC level is higher than 0.08%).

Impairment, which is the effect of alcohol and the real root of danger for both the (impaired) driver and all others on the road, is the primary reason why drinking and driving are strictly prohibited under federal and state laws. While this may be a legally acceptable reason to apprehend and charge violators, the overzealousness of some enforcers has, in a number of instances, resulted to the unreasonable arrest of many individuals.

An enforcer or any police officer has the authority to stop a driver suspected of being impaired; he also has the authority to require a driver to perform sobriety tests, like standing on one leg or walking in a straight line, and even submit to a breathalyzer test.

Though professional-grade breathalyzer devices, like those used by law enforcers for roadside alcohol testing, are believed to be highly accurate and sensitive, there are important factors that enforcers need to consider when using these on suspected drunk drivers:

1. These breathalyzers require periodic calibration in order to maintain accurate readings; failure to calibrate these on regular basis can affect BAC analysis.

2. Breathalyzers can definitely measure alcohol which is present in alcoholic drinks; however, it will also give measurable BAC readings if one consumes food cooked in alcohol, or uses substances that contain (even small amounts of) alcohol, like toothache medicines and mouthwash.

3. Acetone, which is detectable in the breath of those on high protein diets and diabetics, and other compounds that have a molecular structure similar to alcohol, may result to BAC readings. Besides these, adhesives, plastics, varnish, paint fumes, and cleaning chemicals with rubbing alcohol, can also produce false BAC results.

According to Columbia DUI defense lawyers of Truslow & Truslow, no matter the offense, criminal charges at any level should be taken seriously. This is because a person, who has been charged with, or is under investigation for, a crime can suffer serious prejudices in life even after he/she has already served his/her sentence. Thus, whether a case would be heard in a Municipal, Magistrate, State, or Federal court, having a dedicated and qualified criminal defense attorney to defend his/her case may save him/her from getting convicted and his future from getting ruined.

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Understanding The Effects of Alcohol on Driving Performance

Driving and alcohol do not mix. We all know about the bad effects that will happen when these two are combined. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 33,561 people were killed from traffic crashes with 10,056 deaths due to drunk driving in 2012. Those who were involved had a BAC of more than 0.8. The same statistics revealed that for every 100,000 Americans below 21 years old, 1.3 were killed in drunk driving fatalities in the same year.

The bad effects of alcohol on driving performance cannot be discounted. The website of McCutchen & Sexton – The Law Firm revealed that driving under the influence of alcohol can significantly lower a driver’s response time, decision making, and general cognitive process. As a depressant drug, it can slow down the activity of the nervous system, which includes the brain. Driving requires hand, eye, and feet coordination but this becomes clouded when one is drunk and on the wheels of a car.

In addition, alcohol gives drivers difficulty in doing several tasks at once. This means they will not be able to keep their eyes in the lane and in the right direction and focus on the other traffic at the same time. Aside from that, it decreases a driver’s ability to judge the position of their car on the road as well as that of the other vehicles. Moreover, alcohol slows down the eye muscle function, visual perception resulting to blurred vision.

When driving under the influence of alcohol, you could put at risk not only your life but also that of other drivers. Houston car accident lawyers of Williams Kherkher will tell you that driving while intoxicated can result to serious or even life-threatening accidents. You could find yourself liable for injuries or deaths that you have caused just because you did not practice safe driving.

So if you intend to drive, as much as possible do not drink. However, if you must, take control of alcohol that you would take. Drinking too much may also affect your blood alcohol content and you could still get flagged for increased BAC even if you are not completely drunk. In this case, wait until your BAC drops before you drive.

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