Drinking and Driving: How Alcohol Effects the Driver

Did you know in fact, how alcohol Effects the driver? Combining modern-day drugs and driving, can be lethal.  


Alcohol in traffic is a killer. This was not invented by police officers, nor by various agencies, societies or experts. This is already proven by statistics and fresh graves in cemeteries.

  • In the mid-1970s, alcohol was a factor in over 60% of traffic fatalities. Traffic crashes were the leading cause of alcohol-related deaths and two-thirds of traffic deaths among persons aged 16 to 20 involved alcohol.
  • Since the early 1980s, alcohol-related traffic deaths per population have been cut in half with the greatest proportional declines among persons 16-20 years old.
  • Reductions in driving after drinking saved more than 150,000 lives between 1982 and 2001 — more than the combined total saved by increases in seat belt use, airbags, and motorcycle and bicycle helmets.
  • Today alcohol is involved in 37% of all traffic deaths among persons aged 16 to 20.




When determining the degree of the obscurity of a person at the time of the event (for example, the time of the accident or the time of police control), it is necessary to know the laws of alcohol metabolism in the body. Alcohol begins to secretion into the blood already in the stomach, and on average, the absorption of alcohol from the gastrointestinal tract is completed no later than an hour and a half from the last cup. At that time, that is, an hour and a half later, the highest level of alcohol is in the blood, which means that at that time it also has the greatest effect on our body. After this period, the value begins to decline as the alcohol is excreted from the blood into the urine, with a “pace” of 0.1 to 0.2 grams of alcohol per kilogram of blood per hour. In “bad condition” drinkers, alcohol is eliminated slower, and in Alcoholics, it is faster, therefore, the laboratory takes a mean value of 0.15 grams per kilogram per hour in the laboratory. During the hour and a half after drinking, the value of alcohol in urine begins to rise and reaches the highest level when alcohol is almost no more in the blood.


But what does alcohol really cause?

Alcohol is a foodstuff. As such, it works by switching off the higher brain centers to the human brain, and consequently, lower control centers are beginning to dominate our body. This is why a person becomes brave, louder, more aggressive under the influence of alcohol. Depending on the level of alcohol in the blood, the effects on our vision, balance and reaction times are visible. By raising the level of alcohol, the control centers of the brain are switched off one by one, and control is taken over by autonomous centers. This has many, fatal consequences behind the wheel.


In the case of less-accustomed drinkers, at a rate of 0.2 g / kg, which is much below the permitted level of traffic, a change in the appearance of the eye can already be seen. Alcohol affects the functioning of the eye lens, which is less adapted, so the field of vision is narrowed. It’s becoming more and more difficult to detect events that are happening on our left or right side. With an increasing alcoholic strength (at 0.4 g / kg), the sight of the glow begins, as the lens becomes more and more rigid. The tunnel vision begins, the objects seem farther away than they really are. At the same time, alcohol works on the retina, so it’s getting worse to detect red color. The red color is essential in traffic (traffic lights, rear and brake lights, directional signs …)


Alcohol affects people’s equilibrium differently, some begin to quickly “relieve”, others are still “stable” at higher levels. But this can also be a very deceptive feeling because alcohol works on other brain centers.

Reaction time

A sloppy driver has an average reaction time of 0.7 and 1.0 seconds. At a degree of opacity above 1.1 g / kg, the reaction time is extended by about 30 percent. At a degree of opacity above 1.5 g / kg, the reaction time is extended by about 50 percent. In particular, this means the following: at a speed of 50 km / h (urban driving), this driver will ride the brake seven meters later. At 100 km / h, the brake will press on average 14 meters later!



Drugs behind the wheel – Extremely unpredictable and dangerous

The impact of drugs on drivers can be even worse. Drugs are generally considered to be different depending on the type of opiate on the central nervous system, and it is very difficult to set a limit for which they have a fatal impact on driving. A particular problem is the modern synthetic drugs that appear in use. They are very unpredictable and very dangerous for traffic participation, such drugs are also overtaken by medical tests. When they are done and debunked, others have already appeared.


The influence of some types of drugs on feeling or driving:

  • Heroin: as a central nervous system depressor significantly slows down reactions and narrows pupils.
  • Cocaine: affects the “coral”, the driver becomes very aggressive in traffic under the influence of this drug.
  • THC (Cannabis): the user is scattered under his influence, the reactions are slowed down. The reaction time is longer, as with alcohol, there are disturbances in the detection of red color. THC remains in the driver’s blood for about 4 hours, which means that it takes so much time to influence it.
  • Amphetamines (ecstasy): the user is euphoric, sweating a lot, and dehydration can occur. The driver is very aggressive on the road under the influence of such drugs.
  • GHB / GLB (“liquid ecstasy”): a powerful influence on the user, which becomes euphoric and very distracted. At a stronger concentration, the user loses consciousness. Very dangerous in combination with alcohol. Extremely dangerous in traffic.


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