A common question after a dinner or a party is perhaps – is it okay to drive even if I had a glass or two of beer or wine? There is really only one valid answer: No, do not drive.
It is hard to calculate how much wine, beer or liquor you drank the day before, and, while it might be possible to calculate approximately how long it takes before the alcohol level in your blood is down to zero. The truth is that it does not really matter. The mere act of trying to figure out when it is “OK” to drive might give you a false sense of security.
Your driving skills are significantly impaired the day after drinking, even if you are sober. Different tests and research show that your driving skills might get reduced by as much as 20 percent, even when alcohol has already exited the body and the driver might not feel the hangover. It is worth noting, however, that this calculation is not perfect, given that every individual is different, metabolically and physiologically speaking, and two people can get very different readings of alcohol levels in their blood even if they have been drinking the same amount of alcohol. Also, the same individual can get different blood alcohol levels at different times of day or night, even if that individual drinks the same amount on both occasions.
Here are a few facts related to how alcohol might affect (read worsen) an individual’s driving skills:
- Distance assessment
- Sensitivity to bright or low light conditions
- Increased tunnel vision
- Slower reactions or responsiveness and reflexes
- Difficulty making smooth, precise movements
- Double vision
You should keep in mind that this also applies to driving a bike, a motorcycle, a boat and even walking in the streets. Pedestrians under the influence of drugs and alcohol are one of the many causes of traffic accidents.