Effects of Alcohol on Driving

Alcohol adversely affects your ability to drive as soon as you have your first drink. If you drive while impaired, you are putting your own life and the life of others at risk.

The effects of alcohol on driving

  • Increased risk-taking:
    • speeding
    • failure to wear a seat belt
    • recklessness
  • False sense of confidence and being in control
  • Difficulty maintaining a constant speed and trajectory
  • Decreased attention and impaired judgment:
    • altered vision and hearing
    • decreased concentration
    • slower reaction times
    • poor physical coordination
  • Drowsiness

Alcohol doesn't affect everyone equally

For the same amount of alcohol consumed and at the same weight, women usually have a slightly higher blood alcohol concentration than men. However, a person's sex has a fairly negligible effect compared to other factors, such as:

  • weight
  • rate of alcohol absorption
  • fatigue
  • medication
  • age
  • state of health

Beware of mixing!

Mixing alcohol with drugs or medication accelerates and amplifies impairment. For example, mixing alcohol with cannabis multiplies your risk of having an accident by 15.

Last update: June  2, 2022