Effects of Alcohol on DrivingConsuming alcohol reduces muscle coordination, leads to impaired thinking and has negative effects on the nervous system. It also reduces the ability to focus on a task, making it a risk to roadside safety. Although some use of alcohol may be permitted, it is strictly advised not to drink before a long journey, or under distressed weather. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) of 0.08 can increase the risk of a crash and subsequent auto accidents. It is illegal in all states, including Illinois, leading to heavy fines of up to $25,000, three (3) to seven (7) years of jail term, suspension of license for 10 years and considered a felony if found guilty on multiple occasions.
Ways to Prevent Driving Under InfluenceFollowing proactive steps can reduce the risk of crashes and subsequent legal action when driving under influence, such as:
- Arrange a taxi, carpool, or a different mode of transportation after drinking at an event or gathering,
- Choose a sober driver beforehand to transport drunk individuals to their residence,
- Always wear seatbelts when driving,
- Never drive immediately for long distances after an episode of drinking,
- Drink responsibly and refrain from using excess drugs before driving,
- Engage in alternative beverages that are non-alcoholic such as soda, coffee and water,
- Seek rehabilitation to stop future episodes of drinking.