Drinking and driving; how bad is it really?

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drunk-driving.jpgEver since the invention of cars has overlapped with the use of alcohol, the question of how bad drinking and driving really is has loomed over society. The scientific truth is that once your BAC (Blood Alcohol Content) is around .08 it's time to lose the keys and settle in for the night because driving is dangerous.

A startling 80% of car accidents are associated with binge drinking (five or more drinks at a time for males, and four or more for females). High doses of alcohol depress brain centers. This slows thinking and impairs concentration, greatly lowering your ability to react to sudden occurrences on the road such as a yellow light or another car cutting you off. Muscular coordination is also inhibited anywhere from 10-12 hours after drinking, meaning that even if you were conscious of a car suddenly braking, your leg may not necessarily be able to respond in time to hit the brake and avoid a crash. The depression of brain centers as a result of intoxication clearly shows that driving while under the influence is extremely dangerous for you and for everyone else on the road.

The fact is that driving while intoxicated impairs all of the abilities that go into operating a vehicle, so once your BAC nears .08 there is no question as to whether or not you are able to drive. Scientific fact is indisputable, so even if someone "feels fine", their brain is not functioning fully and their driving skills are greatly impaired.

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I like the idea behind this blog, as this is a very important topic for almost every age and is done far too often for such an important issue. Although, I feel this blog can relate even more to us students who are in college, as it seems that binge drinking seems to happen more than just having one or two drinks and calling it a night. WIth the amount of facts poured into this blog, you really made this issue seem very dangerous as it is. I feel that many people will say they are fine, and then go and try to walk in a straight line to prove a point to a friend. But what many do not understand, in which you pointed out, is the fact that a persons muscular coordination is affected for such a long time after drinking. So what many need to understand is that this coordination relates to almost every single aspect of driving a vehicle, so no matter how many drinks, you instantly become impaired.

This blog is great. It might sound bad to say but this is something that college students need to be aware of. Being that most students are able to get from a party back to their apartment or to a friends by walking is very easy at the college area that we live in with everything being in close proximity, there are an abundance of taxis and bus services as well. But that doesn't mean it isn't an important issue because college students sometimes are going to want to venture beyond the vicinity near campus. If they do like you stated, they need to be aware of how much they are drinking and not get behind the wheel. I believe that most people who state that they are capable of driving when they clearly aren't, are on a euphoria trip because of the chemicals that alcohol produces in the body. When they are drunk and under an euphoria type being they may feel more capable of driving better than they would if they were sober so they boast their confidence.But in reality any amount of alcohol in the blood is bad news bears when it comes to driving. I also thought it was very interesting that you mentioned it takes 10-12 hours before you return to normal muscle control after drinking. That is a great fact to point out to people, since I am sure like I assumed it only took a few hours to return to normal.

This is such an important topic, and I'm glad you posted about it. It's addressed, at least in Wisconsin, but, in my opinion, not to a big enough extent. I have heard of people having nine offenses of Driving While Intoxicated. Nine times? By the fourth time, their licences should be revoked and unable to renew. I'm not sure the penalties are harsh enough for DWI offenders. I'm also a little bias, since I've had a family member die because the driver of the other car in the accident was drunk. I also like the first comment, which closed saying no matter how many drinks, the driver will be impaired. I agree and honestly think that even one drink should not allow you behind the wheel.

Having a BAC over .08 is absolutely something that people need to be aware of when they decide to pick up their keys and drive. You mentioned that the fact is drinking impairs reactions with a .08 level. This is something that college students seem to refuse to believe, or be the "exception" to the rule. That's not true. But how do we make people aware of the situation? How can someone know what their BAC is without having a breathalyzer? We could suggest bringing back the 18th amendment (the prohibition of alcohol), but I doubt that would go well. It's an open debate.

Nice! This blog is great! So far binge drinking, it is a troublesome problem. Many people lost their lives because of drinking and driving. Not only drinking and driving, only talk about alcohol, many of my friends, the weekend will be a lot of wine will be drunk, often make too much things on several occasions almost a threat to life. I drink a little wine is no problem, but not too much drinking. Drinking mess things up. Had too much wine will destroy the body and nervous system. Sincerely hope that all countries can punish driving and driving .

Adding to what bouch113 said about how greatly this ties in with college students, I think that the simple task of walking home while intoxicated should be given more thought. Intoxicated people tend to be oblivious to their surroundings, thus, putting them in greater danger when walking home. Just like driving home, they might, inattentively, walk into a pole or whatever have you. Or they might not see a car coming towards them when crossing the street and have enough time to move out of the way. Whatever the case, the fact the drinking affects people's reflexes and responses to such situations should not only concern drivers, but also walkers.

This was a great blog topic that brings about a great debate. In my personal life my mother has gotten a DUI and my car was forced to have whiskey plates on it unfortunately. Even after her DUI, she still has driven impaired and under the influence. I believe some people overestimate how well they can operate a vehicle and will do so anyways. It would be nice to see stronger punishments for drinking and driving, such as revoking a drivers license for longer periods of time on the first offense and such. Also, having breathalyzers available as you leave bars or restaurants could be a good idea, which would allow the person to really see how impaired they are and to find other ways home. I used to know a girl who's father owned a bar and they had a system where people could pay for a worker to drive them home safely after the night. Hopefully in the near future more laws and enforcements are in place.

I agree with the person who said the DUI laws should be more harsh. When you get behind the wheel at any time, peoples' lives are in your hands. You aren't just hurting yourself when you drink and drive. You are also hurting the people you crash into and their families. There should be a zero tolerance law for drinking and driving. If you are willing to spend money on alcohol, you better be willing to spend money on a taxi.

What really stood out to me in this post is how long your muscle reaction time is compromised after drinking. I had no idea that it was still being affected 10-12 hours later. I guess that would explain why the day after I drink I feel like a weakling.

This blog is very insightful into the fact that drinking can greatly impair out ability to make the right decisions. This is a topic that is greatly discussed and I agree with many of the others who commented in saying that DUI penalties need to be harsher. After reading this blog, I looked at various headlines from newspaper concerning DUIs. Some of the headlines are unreal to imagine. For example, a man from Minnesota received a DUI on a Zamboni after crashing into the walls while trying to clean the ice. Some people might find this comical, but the fact of the matter is that this demonstrates the inability to think correctly after drinking alcohol. Living on a campus, it is not secret that people drink. It is astonishing that there has not been more accidents or deaths from alcohol consumption. One commenter mentioned how simply walking becomes increasingly difficult after drinking alcohol and even this makes me wonder how someone has not been injured walking back to their rooms. Overall, I think that DUI laws are not as harsh as they need to be to stop people from drinking and driving.

This article was very interesting to read, especially being in college were binge drinking seems to be a frequent occurrence. Obviously you hear all through school that drinking and driving is bad, but I never really stopped to think about why. It was shocking to see just how much alcohol impairs those functions necessary to operate a vehicle. What you wrote about muscular coordination was especially shocking - it's very scary to think that even though your brain recognizes an oncoming threat, it may not respond in time to prevent hurting yourself and others. Great blog post!

It is really danger to drive after drink. When we drink, our mind will be benumbed and this will affect our responsiveness. When our responsiveness been affected, it is dangerous to drive in that situation, because driving will face many emergencies. For the safe life, we should not drive after drink,

I think this is a message that students are constantly hearing but not always taking to full heart when time comes. I just went to a speaker on Brief Motivational Interviweing with a focus on how to handle reducing alcohol consumption. Here was one of the biggest things that I took away. No matter what the message is, "Don't do drink or drive!" or "Think about how much you are drinking.", the real determinate if the listener is going to receptive is what level they are on. For example they could be on "precontemplation" stage where they don't even recognize a problem or they are on "contemplation" stage and they see issues occuring. Next, there is the "Planning" stage where you say or think about what you want to do to change these issues notices. Then there is the "Action" stage. If the listener isn't in the Action stage and you are telling them action advice, they are not going to make changes no matter what the degree of the action is. Instead we need to have the listener realize the issue themself with Open Ended Questions pushing along conversation for their realization. I think this speaker gave me a better approach on how to handle conversations like these.

Great blog! It's very important to know this kind of information, especially now when alcohol is easily accessible by college students. People often times misjudge their soberness and put their lives in danger as well as pedestrians and other people on the road. I took the Alcohol and College Life online one-credit course and I found it very interesting and definitely increased my knowledge about being responsible with drugs and alcohol. Maybe it should be required for all incoming freshmen?

I simply don't understand why drinking has such a hold on people. I don't drink and plan to never get any worse on the beer scale than rootbeer. The simple fact is that the alcohol kills and disables the brain from front to back, people enjoy taking the frontal lobe out of the equation because they don't have that "maybe I should do/say this..." feeling, but you're still killing your brain in the process. I'd rather just learn to be more relaxed rather than have it induced by something that literally is poison for the mind.

This is a great alcohol informant for all college kids. In college binge drinking rates are the highest amongst all age groups by far and it is very important for us to realize the incredible dangers that go along with it. Just like a few of the above comments I still do not understand how in some states people who have received so many DUI's are still allowed on the roads?

It's great that you touched on this. Drinking and driving is one issue that can never be hackneyed. We've all heard it, we've all seen the consequences, and yet so many people need to hear it again. People don't understand that there is hard science behind it, and a lot of younger people our age, who are not only prone to more reckless driving and more binge drinking, like to disregard that and think they're fine. There's a lot working against the safety of younger drivers.

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This page contains a single entry by kolli035 published on February 19, 2012 3:40 PM.

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