DUI Risks for Senior Citizens

Senior Citizens DUISenior Citizens may be unaware they are driving under the influence

When you think about it, today’s senior citizens have endured much more in their longer lifetimes than the average middle-aged person, and that includes experiences behind the wheel. Unfortunately not every skill gets better with age and knowledge, and senior citizens definitely have a bad reputation when it comes to driving.

With research by AAA showing data that by the year 2030, 1 in 5 drivers in the United States will be over the age of 65, there’s never been a better time to brush up on the facts relating to dangerous driving by senior citizens. Here are a few reasons why experience behind the wheel doesn’t factor in when you get older:

Vision and Reaction Difficulties

Aging isn’t fun, and often we’re the last people to notice something we take for granted, like perfect vision, is declining. No matter if they have pulled overnighters behind the wheel for years, driving can begin to suffer if a senior has issues with night vision or depth perception. As well, the ability to react to fast paced situations slows down when someone is aging, so those quick reactions when in a tense driving situation aren’t quite as quick now.

Senior Citizens and DUI

Did you know that your body’s ability to metabolize alcoholic beverages declines as you age? Although someone over the age of 65 may have been able to have a few drinks then get behind the wheel without incident 20 years before, they don’t have the same capacity to handle the alcohol in their system now. Alcohol is also known to adversely amplify the effects of medication, resulting in seniors unknowingly getting behind the wheel well over the legal limit.

All it takes is one or two drinks and a senior citizen can be charged with driving under the influence, even though they haven’t done anything differently than they did in the past.

Yes, senior citizens have a wealth of wisdom and knowledge to share with the younger generation. But if you know and love someone who is a senior citizen, be sure to keep an eye on his or her driving habits and make them aware of the limitations of aging while behind the wheel.