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Published by: drivershandbooks on Apr 16, 2011
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Alcohol reduces all of the important skills you need to drive safely. Alcohol goes from your
stomach into your blood and to all parts of your body. Itreaches your brain in 20 to 40 min-
utes. Alcohol affects those areas of your brain that control judgment and skill. This is one rea-
son why drinking alcohol is so dangerous; it affects your judgment. Good judgment is impor-
tant to driving, but in this case, judgment helps you to know when to stop drinking. In a way,
it's like alcohol puts good judgment on hold. You do not know when you have had too much
to drink until it is too late. Itis a little like a sunburn; by the time you feel it, it is already too
Alcohol slows your reflexes and reaction time, reduces your ability to see clearly, and makes
you less alert. As the amount of alcohol in your body increases, your judgment worsens and
your skills decrease. You will have trouble judging distances, speeds, and the movement of
other vehicles. You will also have trouble controlling your vehicle.
The best aJvice is:ifyou drink alcohol, do not drive. Even one drink of alcohol can affect
your driving. With two or more drinks in your bloodstream you are impaired and could be
An alcohol drink is 1V2oz. of80-proofliquor {one shot glass} straight or with a mixer, 12 oz.
of beer (a regular size can, bottle, mug or glass) or a 5 oz. glass of wine. Specialty drinks can
have more alcohol in them and are the same as having several normal drinks.


1'f.I oz, Shot

5 oz. Glass

12 oz, Can

of 8 0 proof liquor

of table w ine

01 regular beer

It takes about an hour for your body to get rid of each drink. There is no way to sober up
quicldy. Coffee, fresh air,exercise Or cold showers will hot help. Time is the only thing that
will sober you up.
There are ways of dealing with social drinking situations. Arrange to go with twoot mote per-
sons and agree which one of you w ill not drink alcohol. You can rotate alllong the group ..with
one person being a "designated driver." You can use public transportation or use a cab, ifavail-
There are ways to slow down the effect of drinking alcohol. The best is to increase theamount
of time between drinks. Another is to eat before and while you are drinking. Food slows down
how fast alcohol gets into your blood, Starchy foods like potato chips, pretzels, bread and
crackers are best. Remember, food only slows When the alcohol gets into your blood, it will
not keep you from getting drunk.

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