Aussie drink-driving laws have similar penalties, but our BAC level is still at .05. This will be moved to .02 in the coming years. Be safe for you, your family and the person you may injure because, you thought you were ‘ok to drive!’
SHOULD YOU BE DRIVING? DON'T DRINK AND DRIVE....EVER!
Imagine if you had to tell a family that their child was never coming home again...because a driver had a few too many drinks and they were too lazy to get a taxi? How would you feel if it was your child? Your brother, your parent, your best friend? Now imagine that you're the one who had a few drinks and thought...Home isn't too far. I'll make it without getting busted. While on the back streets worrying if the booze bus will catch you, you hit someone. How do you live with that for the rest of your life?
Alcohol takes a rapid toll on the brain, as most of us know, and caution is well warranted about what we choose to do while under its influence. What isn’t so well known is the hit our brains take much later, after the booze has left the system.
The latest research on the topic was a meta-analysis of several studies that examined brain impairment hours to a day after heavy drinking. With few exceptions, these studies showed that our cognitive abilities, like attention and memory, are debilitated even when alcohol in the blood is no longer measurable.
“Impaired performance in these abilities reflects poorer concentration and focus, decreased memory and reduced reaction times,” said lead study author Craig Gunn of the Department of Psychology at the University of Bath.
Cannabis is now the most frequently detected illicit drug in drivers involved in motor vehicle crashes. Experimental research and epidemiological data have demonstrated psychomotor impairment associated with THC intoxication and quantified impairment with heightened risk of motor vehicle fatalities. Experimental laboratory studies have repeatedly demonstrated that the primary component of cannabis, Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), impairs psychomotor skills including reaction time, focus, executive function, decision making, impulse control, and short-term memory, all important assets needed for safe driving.
Research reveals that the high from marijuana peaks during the first hour after smoking and slowly declines over the following 2 to 5 hours (Hartman and Huestis 2013), sometimes longer. Studies of aircraft pilots who failed to safely execute an emergency landing 24-hours after smoking marijuana should have been the wake-up call we needed regarding the prolonged impairment, in some case 1-2 days after the subjective “high” wears off. But well-financed proponents of marijuana legalization were successful at circumventing the conventions of scientific inquiry to assess safety and efficacy, thus allowing a largely uneducated public to vote the use of this addictive drug into law. As a result, the prevalence of cannabis use is expected to increase as ongoing legalization of both medical and recreational use proceed, despite any scientific evidence regarding the efficacy as a medicine or individual and public safety concerns
If, like me, you enjoy the occasional glass of wine in the evening, you probably don't feel as though your judgment or alertness is impaired after this one drink. But according to a new study, it is.
Researchers find that just one drink can interfere with decision-making.
Yep, that's right. Researchers say that we don't need to guzzle an entire bottle of vino for our cognition to suffer; just a single alcoholic drink has the power to mess with our minds — we're just not aware of it..
Drinking impairs decision-making
So, how does a single drink affect our brain waves and overall cognition? Well, the study found that drinking doesn't appear to affect our beta waves. When it comes to theta waves, however, it's a different story.
After drinking just one cocktail, study subjects showed a reduction in theta wave frequency: they fell to almost half the frequency of those who drank the orange juice. In the task itself, the cocktail was found to reduce subjects' color-matching accuracy by 5 percent, although their reaction times were unaffected by alcohol.
The researchers say that their findings suggest that even a single alcoholic drink can impair our ability to make decisions, though we're not aware of it. Importantly, because our motor control appears unaffected by alcohol, we're likely to proceed with certain physical actions, under the illusion that we're making the right choice.
A driver who drank alcohol and smoked marijuana killed CHP Officer Andrew Camilleri, on Chrstmas Eve.
A New York teen admitted that he used both marijuana and beer before the crash that killed his 16-year-old friend on August 31. Another 14 year-old in the vehicle was injured. Authorities have charged the teen with vehicular homicide and vehicular assault. Yet, the teen claimed that he didn’t feel that he was ‘messed up.’ He said that he had taken 3 or 4 hits of a joint, and drank from two partial cans of beer. But when driving, he “encountered a deer on the road and swerved to avoid it,” leading to the crash.
RiverMend Health is a premier provider of scientifically driven, specialty behavioral health services to those suffering from alcohol and drug dependency, dual disorders, eating disorders, obesity and chronic pain.