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How Alcohol Affects Your Ability to Drive

How Alcohol Affects Your Ability to Drive

Posted By Parks & Braxton, PA || 22-Aug-2016

The dangers of drunk driving are revealed by the media every day, showing us the tragic accidents and astounding fatality statistics caused by intoxicated drivers. Everyone is fully aware that driving under the influence of alcohol is reckless and extremely dangerous, but how many people know exactly why? The way in which your body processes or "metabolizes" alcohol explains a great deal about how alcohol affects your driving and, therefore, why it is so dangerous to drink and drive.

The Alcohol Metabolization Process

As soon as you swallow your first sip of an alcoholic beverage, some of the alcohol begins to absorb through the lining of your stomach and small intestine directly into your bloodstream, traveling to your heart and head before cycling through to your liver. That is why the effects of a strong drink can be almost immediate. Any alcohol that is not immediately absorbed into the bloodstream then moves to your liver. Since alcohol has no value to the body whatsoever, your liver begins to process it out of your system; however, the liver cannot metabolize more than about one ounce of alcohol in a single cycle. Therefore, the remainder is absorbed into your bloodstream once again and travels to your heart.

Alcohol has an interesting effect on your heart by causing it to slow down. This causes your blood pressure to drop, making you feel more relaxed. It can also make you lightheaded due to the drop in blood pressure, though this is usually not noticeable. What is noticeable is the dizziness that occurs when the alcohol reaches your brain. Alcohol affects the neurotransmitters in your brain that control your thought process, behavior, and emotions. It "inhibits" these transmitters so that your reactions are slower, your speech becomes slurred, and your mood begins to alter.

Next, the alcohol continues on to your lungs, where a small portion evaporates and becomes evident on your breath. The amount of alcohol vapor in your lungs is directly tied to the concentration of alcohol in your bloodstream. This is what makes breathalyzers so efficient. After this point, the alcohol in your bloodstream continues moving through your body until it reaches your liver again, where even more alcohol is metabolized. This process continues on until the alcohol has been completely eliminated. This is why it takes about an hour for one drink to wear off.

Arrested for DUI? Contact Parks & Braxton, PA.

Now that you know exactly what alcohol does to your body, you can understand why it is dangerous to drive until the alcohol has worn off. Use that knowledge to protect yourself and others by waiting to drive after drinking; or even better, designate a driver. If you've been wrongfully accused of drinking and driving, however, our firm has what it takes to help. Parks & Braxton, PA has extensive experience in all areas of DUI defense.

The penalties for drunk driving are severe, including license suspension and possible jail time, so make sure that you have the aggressive representation of a Fort Lauderdale DUI attorney on your side. Our firm has an AV Preeminent® rating from Martindale-Hubbell® and has successfully defended thousands of criminal cases. Call our offices at your earliest convenience to speak directly with a lawyer.

Your initial case evaluation is absolutely free, so don't wait. Contact our firm today for the help you need.

Categories: Criminal Defense, DUI

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