Study highlights dangers for buzzed drivers

buzzed driversIt’s a common misconception that having ‘just one or two drinks’ doesn’t make a difference when it comes to blood alcohol levels, and that as long as you stay under the 2 drink limit buzzed drivers so often set for themselves, you’ll be able to safely get behind the wheel of your vehicle.

What most people don’t know is that everyone reacts differently to alcohol, and there are a lot of factors that determine how quickly your blood alcohol will reach the legal limit of .08. In fact, driving under the legal limit while ‘buzzed’ can be just as dangerous to both yourself and those on the road with you as if you were driving with a blood alcohol level of .08.

A study funded by Reuters Health and conducted by the University of California in San Diego has found that driving while ‘buzzed’ yet not legally intoxicated is not safe. They analyzed crash fatalities from 1994 to 2011 and discovered those who blew into a breathalyzer and obtained blood alcohol levels of .01 were 46% more likely to be blamed from a fatal crash than if the driver had nothing to drink at all. To get to a .01 blood alcohol level, an average man simply has to drink one can of beer.

There are several line of thoughts that can be raised by a study like this – it shows how even a little alcohol in your blood stream affects your driving ability, and it also demonstrates how it’s especially dangerous for young drivers who have little tolerance for alcohol and limited experience while driving to get behind the wheel after one drink. Additionally, the study highlighted how certain drivers could have impaired judgment due to having one or two drinks, so when they do a personal assessment of their state of intoxication after a drink or two, they may not be accurate.

Depending on your weight, height, and tolerance for alcohol, blood alcohol levels as low as .02 can affect your coordination, impair your ability to respond to an emergency situation, and affect your ability to multi-task while driving, making getting behind the wheel while ‘buzzed’ just as dangerous as if you were legally impaired.