DO NOT OPERATE – Driving and Alcohol

Responsible service of alcoholHow does alcohol affect your driving? Driving involves many skills. When you are driving, you have to pay attention to many things at once, and you have to do many different things at once. You also have to react quickly when you need to. Alcohol can deter from this performance, and the responsible service of alcohol ensures the safety of you and your patrons.

Alcohol slows down your reactions. If something happens, you’ll react more slowly. It also makes you diminish your coordination, but at the same time, it gives you false confidence and makes you take risks – it’s harder to control what you do. It makes you sleepy and relaxed, meaning you may fall asleep at the wheel, plus it makes things blurry. Your vision also narrows, so it’s harder to see things at the side. Alcohol also makes you less accurate when you are judging speed and distances. These are not great environments of behaviours for driving.

If alcohol is affecting your system, it doesn’t matter how good a driver you are. These affect expert drivers as well. Even if you feel OK, you may be unable to drive well. Remember – alcohol gives you false confidence. Alcohol is a major contributor to road accidents and deaths. This is because alcohol affects the blood, the more your drink – the harsher the effects of the alcohol on your system and reaction times.

As your blood alcohol content (BAC) rises, you are much more likely to have a road accident. If your BAC is .05%: you are twice as likely to have an accident; and if your BAC is .08%: you are 7 times more likely to have an accident. Lastly if your BAC is .15%: you are 25 times more likely to have an accident.

What’s more, if you do have an accident, it may be more serious. People are more likely to injure or kill someone when they have been drinking, due to slowed response times and higher speeds.

Alcohol diminishes your awareness of your surroundings and capabilities. This paired with driving and operating heavy machinery can end in catastrophe for you and your loved ones.

The responsible service of alcohol puts strategies in place to not only educate but prevent intoxication – strategies such as supporting those who choose to be Designated Driver, alongside other safe transport options, and prevention of intoxication strategies.