How does alcohol affect driving?

On Behalf of | Dec 22, 2021 | Motor Vehicle Accidents |

Safe driving is more important than ever during the holiday season. Alcohol is a staple of holiday parties, which can lead to devastating drunk driving accidents.

It is crucial for all drivers to understand how drinking alcohol affects their ability to safely operate a vehicle. Each drink elevates a person’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) and increases their impairment. Here are a few things that can happen when a person drinks and gets behind the wheel.

Three drinks

After three drinks, the average person will have a BAC of about .05%. While still under the legal limit, drivers with this BAC experience decreased coordination, reduced alertness, and problems steering the vehicle. Lack of small muscle control can also prevent drivers from focusing their eyes correctly.

Four drinks

Four drinks elevate BAC to .08%, the legal limit for driving. The driver might experience difficulty making quick decisions, which affects their reaction time. They will also lack concentration and experience loss of short-term memory. Perception also becomes impaired, which can result in poor judgment.

Five to seven drinks

By five drinks, .10% BAC is the norm. Reaction time slows, coordination decreases and control over the vehicle falters. By seven drinks, BAC may reach .15%, which causes significant impairment and cognitive dysfunction.

You can keep yourself and other motorists safe by not drinking and driving. You should also proceed with caution if you suspect a drunk driver on the road. If you notice weaving, lack of signaling, or other dangerous behaviors, keep your distance from the vehicle and notify law enforcement when it is safe to do so.