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Duffy & Feemster

Just One Drink Can Negatively Affect Your Driving

Dwight T. Feemster
Dwight is a civil and criminal attorney in Georgia.
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According to the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCAD), approximately 32 percent of fatal car crashes throughout the U.S. involve an intoxicated driver or pedestrian. In 2011, 23 percent of fatalities in Georgia alone were due to alcohol impaired driving. That is significantly higher than other states in the Southeast.

How Consumption of Alcohol Affects Driving

Most people understand that alcohol can affect the way they drive, but they may not know exactly how alcohol influences their driving abilities. Drinking alcohol impairs driving by:

  • Reducing concentration. This can decrease the driver’s alertness and ability to make quick decisions.
  • Impairing vision. This is a main cause of DUI accidents. Drinking can decrease depth perception and cause double vision and distort images.
  • Feeling too drowsy or relaxed. This may cause the driver to fall asleep at the wheel or reduce reaction time.
  • Less understanding of sensory information. This can cause a failure to obey signs and road rules.
  • Reducing ability perform multiple driving tasks. This means the driver is unable concentrate on traffic, speed, and staying in the correct lane.

Although specific laws and penalties vary from state to state, all states define driving with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 or above as illegal. In general, a concentration of 0.08 is reached by the consumption of more than one 12-ounce beer, one five-ounce glass of wine, or one 1.5-ounce shot of distilled spirits per hour. However, there are a number of personal factors that can affect your BAC, including:

  • Gender
  • Weight
  • Alcohol tolerance
  • Overall health
  • Metabolism
  • Hydration
  • Fat/muscle ratio
  • Blood type
  • Medications
  • Food consumption
  • Rate of alcohol consumption

Some Myths About Drinking and Driving

There are some commonly held myths about drinking alcohol and driving. Here are some surprising truths about a few of those myths:

Myth: When you’ve been drinking, all you need is coffee to be alert enough to drive safely.         
Truth: Only time can remove the alcohol from your body.
Myth: If you’ve been drinking, you are fine to drive as long as you roll down your window and get some fresh air.                                                                                                                                   
Truth: Fresh air will not improve your alertness or concentration when you have been drinking.
Myth: Larger people can drink more alcohol and still drive safely.                                                
Truth: Your motor skills begin to slow down after your very first drink. Although your body size can affect your BAC, there are many other factors that influence that number, as well.

We Can Help

If you or a loved one suffered injuries in a vehicle accident caused by a drunk driver, you may be able to recover damages relating to medical expenses, past and future lost wages, pain and suffering, and loss of limbs. At Duffy & Feemster, we have more than 60 years of experience serving the Savannah community. We are committed to our clients and treat every case with individual care. Contact us today for more information or to schedule a free initial consultation by calling 888-707-1197.


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