The driving under the influence of psychoactive substances, the driving ability influence (alcohol, other drugs or specific medication) – legal concept in US: “drunk driving” – as in almost every country in the world misdemeanor punishable or is a misdemeanor punishable (depending on action and the consequences). The penalties and criminal side-effects at the specified exceeding blood alcohol concentrations and / or breath alcohol concentration and driving under the influence of drugs and medication, however, differ from country to country. In US, there are, however, for the offense drunk driving no legal alcohol limits.
Effects of alcohol in road traffic
In European countries there are different limits, from which a transport under the influence of alcohol is punishable. These detection limits are often wrongly interpreted that driving “below” allowed is. Alcohol consumers make their decisions often ride – either habitually or due to current stress factors – not based on objective facts (drinking amounts), but on the basis of subjective assessments of their driving ability. Alcohol-savvy people often feel well in more than 1 ‰ roadworthy and depending on habituation level and stomach contents even at two and 2.5 ‰.
Such misperceptions explain the dangers of alcohol in road traffic as well as the learning experience that alcohol rides often “go well”, do not lead to an accident or traffic incident. People with this learning experience represent a high-risk group, as they are derived from their “personal underreporting” that driving under the influence of alcohol is dangerous.
Impairments caused by alcohol start at a low dose.
Changing perceptions under the influence of alcohol
The glare sensitivity of the eye is raised, because the pupils of the eyes with sudden incidence of light (“oncoming” spotlight) close too slowly. Most alcohol journeys take place at night. This increases the risk of accidents significantly.
Distance estimation is unreliable because the eye lens switches under the influence of alcohol is no longer fast enough from near too far and vice versa. The drunken motorist travels frequently on too tightly.
The speed estimate is also unreliable as the speed from the brain of the perceived change in distance and the elapsed time is calculated as a result of poor distance estimate.
The attention is concentrated, the so-called tunnel vision occurs. Information from the edges of the visual field (pedestrians, laterally oncoming vehicles) is perceived much worse.
Under the influence of alcohol which lasts Information Processing (nerve / brain) is longer, for example, to a perceived issue identified as a threat.
The reaction rate is already slowing down in small amounts, the effect increases with higher amounts. In perception of danger, the reaction is delayed.
The safe execution of the necessary reaction is – when they finally done – much worse. Drunken brakes as significantly harder and the countermeasures fail.
Affect the thinking
Alcohol relaxed and uninhibited, When driving increase the confidence and the willingness to take risks Increased confidence at reduced performance resulting in more driving errors.
Risk of accidents under the influence of alcohol
Alcohol is the biggest risk factor in road traffic, both the frequency as the severity of accidents concerning. Every year more than one million people worldwide die from the consequences of traffic accidents.
According to the statistics of the Association of civil liability insurance provider in Germany, every fourth serious accident due to the influence of alcohol, despite many efforts at prevention and awareness campaigns and inspections. Only a fraction of all journeys under the influence of alcohol will be discovered and punished by roadside checks.