What Are Some Facts That Drinking Affects Your Ability to Drive?

Question by Jessica: what are some facts that drinking affects your ability to drive?
what are some facts that drinking affects your ability to drive?

Best answer:

Answer by magic_pie1
Here are hard facts on what alcohol does to your system and bodily functions:

The effect alcohol has on the NMDA receptors, earlier responsible for pleasurable stimulation, turns from a blessing to a curse if too much alcohol is consumed. NMDA receptors start to become unresponsive, slowing thought in the areas of the brain they are responsible for. Contributing to this effect is the activity which alcohol induces in the gamma-aminobutyric acid system (GABA). The GABA system is known to inhibit activity in the brain. GABA could also be responsible for the memory impairment that many people experience. It has been asserted that GABA signals interfere with the registration and consolidation stages of memory formation. As the GABA system is found in the hippocampus, (among other areas in the CNS), which is thought to play a large role in memory formation, this is thought to be possible.

Blurred vision is another common symptom of drunkenness. Alcohol seems to suppress the metabolism of glucose in the brain. The occipital lobe, the part of the brain responsible for receiving visual inputs, has been found to become especially impaired, consuming 29% less glucose than it should. With less glucose metabolism, it is thought that the cells aren’t able to process images properly.

Often, after much alcohol has been consumed, it is possible to experience vertigo, the sense that the room is spinning (sometimes referred to as ‘The Spins’). This is associated with abnormal eye movements called nystagmus, specifically positional alcohol nystagmus.

In this case, alcohol has affected the organs responsible for balance, i.e. the vestibular system in the ears. Balance in the body is monitored principally by two systems: the semicircular canals, and the utricle and saccule pair. Inside the semicircular canals there are flexible blobs called cupulas, which moves when the body moves. Upon bendin of the cupula, hair cells inside them create nerve impulses that travel through the vestibulocochlear nerve (Cranial nerve VIII) to the brain. The cupula is surrounded by endolymph, which has the same density.

However, when alcohol gets in to the bloodstream it dilutes it, reducing its density. When this blood reaches the cupula, the cupula becomes less dense. The endolymph surrounding it, on the other hand, is not connected directly to the circulatory system, and keeps the same density. Thus, the cupula becomes less dense than the surrounding fluid and is forced upwards, creating a false impulse just as if the head was rotating in the opposite direction. [9] The abnormal nerve impulses tell the brain that the body is rotating, causing disorientation and making the eyes spin round to compensate.

Another classic finding of alcohol intoxication is ataxia, in its appendicular, gait, and truncal forms. Appendicular ataxia results in jerky, uncoordinated movements of the limbs, as though each muscle were working independently from the others. Truncal ataxia results in postural instability; gait instability is manifested as a disorderly, wide-based gait with inconsistent foot positioning. Ataxia is responsible for the observation that drunk people are clumsy, sway back and forth, and often fall down. It is probably due to alcohol’s effect on the cerebellum.

This is why drinking and driving isn’t the best idea, from a scientific point of view. It really screws with your bodily functions, severely impairing your ability to drive.

Answer by faulty_barbie_doll
Honestly asking? I really hope your not a driver, if you are I’m worried slightly.

* One in six road deaths is caused by drink drivers.
* Every day around 250 drivers fail a breath test
* The risk of being involved in a crash increases rapidly with the amount of alcohol drunk
* Even small amounts of alcohol will affect your ability to judge distance and speed, and will slow your reaction time
* On average 3,000 people are killed or seriously injured each year in drink drive collisions.
* Drinking and driving occurs across a wide range of age groups but particularly among young men aged 17-29 in both casualties and positive breath tests following a collision. The Government’s most recent drink drive campaigns aims to target this group.
* When the Government first published statistics in 1979, 1,640 people were killed in drink-related crashes.
* The provisional figures, from 2003, show that some 560 people were killed in crashes in which a driver was over the legal limit.
* Some 20,000 lives are estimated to have been saved in the last 18 years thanks to central government drink drive campaigns.
* At twice the current drink-drive limit you are at least 50 times more likely to be involved in a fatal collision.

Despite all the publicity, all the campaigns, all the deaths; people still drink and drive.


We often think of a ‘drink driver’ as a very drunk person, not a careful social drinker: someone who has drunk so much alcohol that they can hardly stand, let alone get behind a wheel.

But the truth is that a drink driver is anyone who is over the legal alcohol limit for driving. No matter how little they may be over that limit, or how careful they think they are.

A drink driver is very often someone who thinks they’ll be ‘alright’ with just another pint or even a half-pint. Or the morning after.


The alcohol limit is there for a reason. It’s because the risk of being involved in a crash is dramatically bigger, the more alcohol you drink. And even a very small amount of alcohol affects our driving skills – slows down reaction times, gives false confidence and reduces concentration.

It also makes us take risks we wouldn’t normally take, even if we don’t realize it.


You won’t, so don’t try to guess whether you’re alright to drive or not. If you’re guessing, then you’re gambling with your licence, your life and the lives of other people.

It’s far better to avoid drinking at all. Or don’t use the car.


Rather than gambling with lives, pick any one of the simple ways you can easily avoid a drink driving problem:

* stick to non alcoholic and soft drinks if you are the driver
* if someone else is driving, make sure they stick to soft drinks
* never offer an alcoholic drink to a driver
* arrange for someone who is not drinking to drive
* take a taxi
* use public transport
* stay overnight

The legal limit above which you must not drive is 35 microgrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres of breath or 80 microgrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood.

The amount of alcohol it takes a person to reach these levels is very difficult to determine and will vary between individuals.

There is no safe answer. The only way to guarantee that you will provide a negative breath test is not to drink.

http://www.thinkroadsafety.gov.uk/campaigns/drinkdrive/drinkdrive01.htm This website should answer any other questions you have.

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