How Drinking Affects Your Driving

Drunk driving is extremely dangerous and highly illegal. It results in an alarmingly high number of deaths and injuries per year. According to the Texas Department of Transportation, in Texas, a person dies about every nine hours due to a DUI- or alcohol-related traffic incident.

Today we’ll take a look at why driving drunk is so dangerous and how even just a few drinks can greatly impact your driving abilities more than you may think.


Substances can be either depressants or stimulants. Alcohol is a depressant, meaning it causes you to be tired and less alert, which is dangerous for driving. Tired driving can cause you to not pay attention to the road, struggle to stay in your lane, or even have you falling asleep.

In fact, between 2010 and 2018, 22% of the nation’s fatal tired-driving accidents occurred in Texas alone. Being tired puts you and others on the road at a much higher risk of being injured.

Impaired Concentration

When you’re drunk, your attention span is dramatically lowered and your ability to focus also decreases along with it. Concentration is extremely important when driving- it’s what helps you stay on the road and avoid veering, obey traffic rules, pay attention to other drivers, and notice any obstacles in front of or around you. Without your attention span being as high as it should, you’re not able to pay attention to all the factors you need to in order to be a safe driver.

Impaired Vision

As you continue to drink, your vision will increasingly become negatively affected. You may notice blurred vision, double vision, or an inability to control your eye movement. With your vision being greatly impacted, you are sure to be a risky driver. You may not be able to see other drivers, pedestrians, be able to judge distances, or stop lights and traffic signs. This makes for an extremely dangerous driving situation.

Lack of Coordination

The more you drink, the more your motor skills will be negatively impacted. You must have proper eye, hand, and foot coordination to drive safely, and with reduced coordination, you’ll have difficulty completing basic functions such as staying in your lane, turning the steering wheel, braking in time, or switching lanes in front of or behind another car.

Impaired Reaction Time

Alcohol is known to significantly reduce your reaction time, even after just one drink. Your reaction time is how long it takes you to react when something unexpected occurs. It’s slowed when you’ve consumed alcohol because it takes your brain longer to process and receive messages from the rest of your body. In fact, being intoxicated slows down your reaction time by about 10%-30%.

For example, if you see someone crossing the road in front of you or a car tries to cut you off, you may not be able to react in time to avoid an auto accident. Your judgment will also be greatly affected; for example, if you would normally assume you can’t make it through a yellow light in time, when intoxicated, you may wrongly assume that you have plenty of time.

Call our Austin Accident Attorney Today

The best way to avoid a drunk driving accident is to not take the risk of driving if you’re questioning it. Even if you think you feel fine to drive, chances are, you’re still putting yourself and others on the road at risk.

If you or someone you know has been involved in a DWI arrest, the best way to win your case is to work with a hard-hitting defense lawyer. At the Law Office of Jesse Hernandez, our team puts our clients first and works as hard as possible to build a strong case. The sooner you call our DWI layers after being charged, the better chance you have of avoiding negative outcomes. For an experienced, trustworthy DUI defense attorney in Austin, give our criminal defense attorneys a call today.

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