Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

You Booze, You Lose: Even Small Amount Of Alcohol Affects Driving Skills

Date:
September 19, 2002
Source:
Texas A&M University
Summary:
For most drinkers, knowing when to say when occurs a lot quicker than they think. A study by Texas A&M University's Center for Alcohol and Drug Education Studies shows that even a small amount of alcohol - in many cases, as few as one or two beers - can seriously affect judgment and driving decisions.

COLLEGE STATION, September 18, 2002 - For most drinkers, knowing when to say when occurs a lot quicker than they think. A study by Texas A&M University's Center for Alcohol and Drug Education Studies shows that even a small amount of alcohol - in many cases, as few as one or two beers - can seriously affect judgment and driving decisions. The study's bottom line: Even if you've consumed very little alcohol, your decision-making skills are hampered more than you realize and the results could be deadly considering that nationally, 38 percent of all traffic deaths involve alcohol. In Texas, the rate is a staggering 49 percent, which leads the nation.

Related Articles


In a study titled Analysis and Evaluation of the Effects of Varying Blood Alcohol Concentrations on Driving Abilities, Texas A&M researchers led by Dr. Maurice Dennis tested 19 men and women of various ages and ethnic backgrounds performing driving skills at different blood alcohol concentrations (BACs).

Dennis and his team measured blood alcohol concentration throughout the driving test. Impaired driving skills were expected by those drivers who had reached illegal BACs, but the surprising results came from drivers who had small amounts of alcohol in their systems.

"In Texas and 20 other states, the blood alcohol concentration level to be legally intoxicated is .08," Dennis says. "But we found that persons who registered a .04 - one-half the amount it takes to be legally intoxicated - had significant impairment in their driving abilities.

"In a nutshell, what it means is you don't have to be staggering, fall-down drunk to have driving problems if you've drinking. A very small amount can affect your driving ability and especially the decisions you make while driving. A person may think to himself or herself, 'I've only had a couple of beers so I can drive okay,' but their judgment can be severely affected and they don't even know it."

The study will be published in the next issue of The Chronicle of the American Driver and Traffic Safety Education Association. Helping to administer the driving tests were representatives from the Texas Department of Public Safety

Dennis says it doesn't take much alcohol for many people to reach that dangerous .04 level. For a 150-pound man, it can be reached in as little as 1-2 beers, or just one beer for a 120-pound woman.

"Our tests showed that at .04, again one-half the level of legal intoxication, drivers had trouble with such skills as skid control, crash simulation and other maneuvering tests through stationary cones," Dennis adds.

The driving tests were conducted during daylight hours, Dennis said, where vision is sharper than nighttime driving. "And you have to remember that most people drink and drive at night and fatigue can further hamper driving skills," he notes.

Dennis said the test results have been recorded on a 12-minute VHS tape and is available statewide for driver education courses and law enforcement agencies.

Dennis study was funded by the Texas Department of Transportation.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Texas A&M University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Texas A&M University. " You Booze, You Lose: Even Small Amount Of Alcohol Affects Driving Skills." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 19 September 2002. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/09/020919065955.htm>.
Texas A&M University. (2002, September 19). You Booze, You Lose: Even Small Amount Of Alcohol Affects Driving Skills. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/09/020919065955.htm
Texas A&M University. " You Booze, You Lose: Even Small Amount Of Alcohol Affects Driving Skills." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/09/020919065955.htm (accessed October 24, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Friday, October 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Academic Scandal Shocks UNC

Academic Scandal Shocks UNC

AP (Oct. 23, 2014) A scandal involving bogus classes and inflated grades at the University of North Carolina was bigger than previously reported, a new investigation found. (Oct. 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Working Mother Getaway: Beaches Turks & Caicos

Working Mother Getaway: Beaches Turks & Caicos

Working Mother (Oct. 22, 2014) Feast your eyes on this gorgeous family-friendly resort. Video provided by Working Mother
Powered by NewsLook.com
What Your Favorite Color Says About You

What Your Favorite Color Says About You

Buzz60 (Oct. 22, 2014) We all have one color we love to wear, and believe it or not, your color preference may reveal some of your character traits. In celebration of National Color Day, Krystin Goodwin (@kyrstingoodwin) highlights what your favorite colors may say about you. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
First-Of-Its-Kind Treatment Gives Man Ability To Walk Again

First-Of-Its-Kind Treatment Gives Man Ability To Walk Again

Newsy (Oct. 21, 2014) A medical team has for the first time given a man the ability to walk again after transplanting cells from his brain onto his severed spinal cord. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins