Motivated by Justice. Success by Excellence. Aggressive by Nature.

Impacts of Alcohol on the Driver’s Brain

On Behalf of | Oct 28, 2020 | Personal Injury

You likely already know that drinking and driving is never a good choice, yet drunk driving crash statistics consistently show that thousands of Americans continue to make this same mistake year after year. A big part of this issue is the fact that many drivers believe that they are okay and know their bodies well enough to know that they are “fine” to drive, yet if this is even a question, driving should never be the answer.

Even one drink is enough to have an affect on your driving abilities. Regardless of who you are, what size you are, or how much experience you have behind the wheel, alcohol will affect your driving abilities in dangerous ways.

Safe driving requires alertness and the ability to make fast decisions in situations that are rapidly changing. It also has profound effects on driving skills and has a negative effect on a variety of brain functions, including:

Reaction Time

Alcohol slows down bodily reflexes, including the ability to react swiftly and efficiently. This is especially dangerous when driving due to ever-changing situations and road conditions. If a car comes barrelling out of nowhere and your ability to react quickly is suppressed, you are much more likely to end up in a serious, potentially fatal accident that could leave you (and others) severely injured.


Alcohol has also shown to slow eye muscle function, alter eye movement, and change visual perception, which can possibly result in blurred vision. Night vision and color perception can also be impaired when alcohol is consumed. This is incredibly dangerous when driving as you need your eyes to see what is happening on the road. The suppression of reaction time combines with slowed eye muscle function is a recipe for disaster.


When alcohol is consumed, it can decrease the ability to judge the car’s position on the road, as well as the location of other vehicles, the center and side lines, and road signs.


Drowsiness is also a common aspect of drinking alcohol, which also decreases concentration during a time when it is crucial to be concentrating. While this is something that may come naturally to someone who is sober, concentration has shown to diminish when alcohol is brought into the mix.


Alcohol can also hinder the ability to make rational decisions due to it causing individuals to lose their sense of judgment and lowering their inhibitions. While dropping judgment and inhibitions may be fun in the right settings, driving a car is most definitely not one of them.


Alcohol also reduces eye/hand/foot coordination, which is absolutely necessary when driving when you are watching the road, pushing the gas and brake pedals, and turning the steering wheel.

All in all, it is best to skip the alcohol altogether when you are planning on driving. Even if you feel as though you are fine to drive, keep in mind the effects that even one drink can have on your ability to function properly. Even with the current pandemic, Uber and Lyft have been working to take extra precautions to keep their drivers and guests safe.

If you have any questions or have been involved in a car accident from a drunk driver’s negligence, give our personal injury lawyers a call at Woods & Thompson, P.A. in Minneapolis today. We will work diligently to get you the compensation you deserve.