Many Illinois residents enjoy getting together with loved ones or friends to kick back and relax after work or on a weekend. In fact, you might start looking forward to your down time as soon as Monday mornings roll around. Whether you take in a show, go out to eat or imbibe a few alcoholic beverages, you're entitled to a little R & R after a long week at work. The trick is learning to balance your fun with responsible choices to avoid vehicular collisions or legal problems (or both).
Alcohol has a surprising way of immediately affecting your cognitive and physical abilities. In fact, you may not even realize you are impaired when you are. That's why researching the topic ahead of time can save you a lot of stress and personal risk down the line.
Top ways alcohol affects your ability to safely drive a car
Hopefully, you already understand the great risk involved with getting behind the wheel of a car after consuming alcohol. Still, you definitely wouldn't be the first person to admit you have done so on occasion after drinking a glass of wine or a beer or two on a night out. In most states, the blood alcohol content level for legal operation of a motor vehicle is .08. The following list, however, explains the significant impairments alcohol can cause in your system:
- Consuming alcohol may affect your ability to see clearly. Blurred vision or lack of perception may place you at risk for collision if you try to drive before sobering up. In fact, even if your BAC is within a legal limit for driving, it is does not necessarily mean you are not in any way impaired.
- Alcohol in your bloodstream will slow your reaction time. Being able to react quickly while driving may mean the difference between averting a crash and winding up in a hospital bed.
- Ever notice how unsteady you feel on your feet if you've had too much alcohol to drink? That's because alcohol causes reduced coordination. Some people think it's funny to watch a drunk person stumble or fall. No one laughs, however, when an intoxicated driver causes an accident that results in injury or death.
- You risk your ability to think clearly, speak clearly or understand someone speaking to you if you consume alcohol.
If a police officer pulls you over and accuses you of drunk driving, does it mean you are going to be convicted and do time in jail? Perhaps; however, this is not always the case. Just because you consumed alcohol before driving does not necessarily mean you broke the law or are responsible for another person's injuries. You have a right to present as strong a defense as possible in the hope of avoiding conviction.