In the United States, nearly 30 people die in car accidents every single day. In 2018 alone, there were over 10,000 fatalities due to drunk driving. What makes alcohol so dangerous to use while driving? The NHTSA explains that a person’s blood alcohol concentration can affect judgment, behavior, muscle control and more.
Drunk driving is not only a danger to the driver and others on the road, but it can lead to serious criminal charges. Even first-time offenses can entail serious fines and even jail time depending on the circumstances. What effect does alcohol have to make it so dangerous to drivers?
How does alcohol affect the central nervous system?
Alcohol begins to affect a person as soon as he or she takes the first drink, explains Healthline. First, a person may notice that he or she slurs words. The communication between the brain and body slows down. Alcohol absorbs through the stomach walls and small intestine. One through, it accumulates in the bloodstream before metabolizing in the liver. It reduces the brain’s function, impairs thinking and muscle coordination. To control a vehicle, a person needs these skills.
Can alcohol affect the body at lower BAC levels?
The legal BAC limit in the United States is .08 percent. To have a BAC at .08 or above, a person can face an arrest on DUI charges. This does not mean that lower blood alcohol concentrations are safe. About 1800 people died in alcohol related crashes where the levels were not .08 or higher. The higher the concentration, the higher the risk.