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How does alcohol impact a person’s driving skills?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, twenty eight people die every day in the United States due to an auto accident in which an alcohol impaired driver was a factor. Whether you consume a lot of drinks or just a few, there are a number of ways alcohol can impact your driving skills. 

Large alcohol consumption, about up to seven drinks, can have severe consequences on a motorist’s ability to control a vehicle. With this much alcohol in your system, you would experience sharply reduced muscle control and may even vomit. It would also greatly impact your ability to control an automobile, to pay attention to what is going on around you, or to process the needed visual and auditory stimulus to make important decisions. You can also lose substantial balance.

The CDC website also details problems motorists can suffer even under the influence of a few drinks. A person who has consumed about three drinks will have problems steering a vehicle. If emergency situations arise on the road, the motorist will not respond as quickly to it. It will also be harder to coordinate actions or to visually track anything or anyone moving in front of you. Even a person with a blood alcohol level of just .02 percent, caused by having about two drinks, will still suffer a decline in visual activity, including the ability to quickly track a moving target.

Low levels of alcoholic consumption can also affect your behavior in ways both subtle and obvious. After just a few drinks, you may feel relaxed, even good. However, you might also feel uninhibited and behave in ways you would not otherwise. Your words or actions can suddenly become exaggerated. You might also not be on your guard, and without proper alertness you cannot react as quickly to sudden developments on the road.   

This article is intended to inform the reader how alcohol affects driving skills and is not to be taken as legal advice.

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