Drunk Driving

Driving Under Influence of Drugs or Alcohol

Drinking and driving is common and a major problem in majority of the countries. Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol can lead to dangerous situation and even a fatal road crash. We might have seen several examples people consuming alcohol and still they behave normal but the reality is far different from what we see. The effect of the alcohol may vary from person to person and after a certain limit it impact functioning of our brain which control functions of our body especially the motor response. At such situations people also suggest various measures to lessen the effect of alcohol from our body such as drinking lime water or lime soda or any other beverage but it doesn't works at all. The effect of alcohol subsidizes over time only.

In terms of driving and consumption of alcohol, one must be aware of the legal limits of alcohol consumption defined in law in India. According to section 185(a) of Motor Vehicles Act, 1988, if the amount of alcohol exceeds 30 mg. per 100 ml of blood of a person driving a vehicle is considered as an offence. In addition, if a person is found incapable of controlling a vehicle under the influence of drugs it is also considered as an offence and booked under section 185 of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988. If a person is convicted to have committed an offence under section 185 then he may be punished with imprisonment for a term up to six months or fine of rupees Ten Thousand or both. The legal limit of alcohol consumption for driving a vehicle varies from country to country and the experience of driving a person bears. In India, the limit is uniform for all vehicle drivers.

Effect of Alcohol on our Body

Alcohol is a type of drug that is considered as a depressant that slows down our central nervous system and vital functions resulting in slurred speech, unsteady movement, disturbed perceptions and inability to react quickly. One might have seen in movies or heard stories about people throwing up stuff after drinking alcohol. This happens when a person consumes large amount of alcohol that his body is incapable to process. Alcohol has toxins that can make one feel sick. Sometimes, if a person drinks alcohol while he's taking certain kind of medicines, he may have a reaction and can get physically ill. Let us understand the short term and long term effects of consuming alcohol.

i. Short Term Effects of Alcohol

  • Make you feel sleepy, less coordinated, and slower to react to things
  • Cause your brain to feel foggy, and make you think and see differently

ii. Long Term Effects of Alcohol

Years of drinking alcohol regularly can harm your body in many ways, for example it may cause:

  • Stomach and intestine problems
  • Weight gain
  • Liver damage
  • Nerve and muscle damage
  • Heart problems
  • Cancer of the throat, mouth, liver, esophagus and larynx
  • Emotional and psychological problems like sadness, depression, and even hallucinations
  • If a pregnant woman drinks too much alcohol, it can seriously hurt her unborn baby and lead to birth defects which is termed as Fetal Alcohol Syndrome
  • Alcohol poisoning. Drinking a large amount of alcohol at one time can cause coma and death.

Effect of Alcohol on Driving Behaviour

Since alcohol slows down functioning of our brain which results in delayed motor response, ability to think and react which certainly reflects our driving behaviour. The person who is drunk and driving may exhibit the following traits in his driving behaviour:

  • Driving too fast or too slowly
  • Rash driving
  • Not minding the lane traffic and drive in wrong lane or in a zigzag fashion
  • Running over the footpath
  • Drive without indicating or signaling
  • Turning vehicle abruptly
  • Quick and jerky starts
  • Failure to use headlights
  • Ignoring road signs and signals