Drinking and driving will not only land you in legal trouble, it may also cause a devastating accident that can injure yourself and other drivers. This has much do with alcohol’s complex effect on a person’s body, which goes far beyond just diminishing motor skills. Very Well Mind offers the following information.
Cognitive skills remain impaired for some time
A study conducted by the Rotman Research Institute in Toronto looked at the abilities of test subjects at different phases of inebriation. While motor skills start to recover as a person’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) decreases, cognitive skills remain impaired during this stage. This creates a false sense of security for a person, who might feel sober enough to undertake tasks like driving. This means that a drunk person may recognize a sudden road hazard but lack the ability to avoid it.
Responses are also delayed
Researchers conducted a test to see how a person’s response time is delayed when under the influence. The test involved performing two tasks, one right after the other, to determine if processing the second task was affected by the quick pace in which the tasks were performed. For the group with BACs of 0.10, numerous errors were made while trying to complete the tasks. Additionally, reaction times were affected and didn’t seemingly recover until BAC began to increase.
Tests illustrate how hard it is to gauge sobriety
A person might believe he or she is OK to drive after a few drinks, or that intoxication wears off after a few hours of not drinking. The truth is that once you’re drunk, your abilities remain impaired for quite some time. Also, you may recover some abilities as you begin to sober up while others remain impaired. These factors come together to create a highly dangerous scenario that puts all motorists at risk.