DUI is an offense in most states, but what does alcohol do to your driving skills and judgement that makes it a crime?

Many drivers ignore the effects of drinking before driving. Instead, Drunk drivers usually consider themselves perfectly able to drive.

Although multiple public service campaigns occur now and then to educate people about the severity of drunk driving, there are still many DUI incidents and accidents across the United States.

The victims of such incidents experience catastrophic injuries or sometimes wrongful deaths. Driving while intoxicated adversely affects the driver’s ability to drive their vehicle. Alcohol affects the ability to understand and respond to immediate scenarios while driving.

So, what does alcohol do to your driving skills and judgement? Let’s go over how alcohol can adversely affect your ability to judge and drive accordingly.

What Does Alcohol Do To Your Driving Skills And Judgement?

Here are seven different ways alcohol affects your driving skills and judgment.

Impaired Judgment

drunk driver

The primary effect that alcohol does on your body is that it changes the way you think and respond to particular situations while driving.

Though you might be a sensible and responsible driver, when you drink alcohol in large amounts, it can affect your behavior. However, this puts you at high risk-taking behaviors and lowers your ability to plan accordingly.


Being intoxicated badly affects the driver’s ability to concentrate on several actions, including concentration on speed levels, defensive driving, or even weather conditions.

All in all, alcohol affects every critical action you take in contrast to safe driving.


Intoxicated drivers are usually less able to comprehend traffic rules and regulations. For instance, they are less likely to pay attention to traffic signals or rough driving conditions.

It limits the driver’s ability to respond actively, for example, to stop suddenly, avoid crashes or slow down.

A Lack Of Coordination

drunk driving

People who drink too much occasionally know exactly how alcohol affects their bodies and their ability to coordinate. If your coordination skills disintegrate, you will not be able to retain your driving ability.

In addition, alcohol is proven to affect your motor skills adversely. Even consuming three or four drinks can impact your coordination and capability to operate the vehicle.

It can lead to devastating accidents, making you liable for any injuries or deaths caused.

Impaired Vision And Hearing

The most common behavior of intoxicated drivers is that they believe they can drive safely by simply paying attention to what’s ahead. As a result, they usually don’t focus on what’s happening in their side vision which leads to adverse situations.

Apart from this, alcohol also affects the driver’s vision, for instance, blurred vision or inability to see at a certain distance; hence, many DUI accidents occur at night.

Slow Reaction Time

Drunk Driving

As mentioned earlier, small amounts of alcohol consumption can affect your driving ability to a great extent and can reduce the reaction time by 10% to 30%.

Drunk drivers may find it difficult to react and respond to unexpected circumstances. When intoxicated, the brain takes longer to receive and comprehend messages from various parts of the body, affecting the reaction time and signals sent to the muscles.


Alcohol consumption can reduce your ability to track and position your vehicle on the road. For example, drivers need help to focus on road signs or center lines.

If you or your loved ones have a habit of drunk driving, stop doing it right away. All skills and abilities mentioned previously are highly critical to safe driving, and impairing them can lead to severe consequences.

What Does Alcohol Do To Your Driving Skills And Judgement: Consequences Of Drinking And Driving

When people drink and drive, they compromise their responsiveness and cognitive skills, which results in a higher risk of accidents. If they get caught drunk driving, it can have bad financial, legal, professional, and personal outcomes.

  • Depending on prior offenses, your driver’s license can get suspended for three months, six months, or even up to a year.
  • Employers can also take serious steps if their drivers with commercial licenses are caught in a DUI accident. It can affect employment opportunities for commercial drivers.
  • Many states have a mandatory requirement for jail time, even if it is your first offense. You are also liable for certain fines and fees according to the severity.
  • Drunk driving convictions can adversely affect the driver’s personal life and lead to a job loss or certain restrictions.
  • Your insurance company might deny the payment for your injuries based on the state’s rules and regulations if you were driving while intoxicated.

How To Avoid Drunk Driving?

Drunk Driving

It is always essential to be prepared and plan accordingly for such instances. Here are various ways you can implement to avoid driving while intoxicated.

  • An ideal solution is to select a sober designated driver whenever you plan to have alcohol.
  • If you are alone, it is best to avoid alcohol. Instead, try having some non-alcoholic beverages to prevent future mishaps.
  • If you plan to have a little drink, be responsible and have a small amount only.
  • Get a taxi or a shared car service if you feel tipsy or drunk.
  • Do not go for a commute with a drunk driver.
  • Try to protect your friends or loved ones if you see them trying to drive while intoxicated by simply getting their keys and calling them a cab to get them home.

Conclusion – What Does Alcohol Do To Your Driving Skills And Judgement?

Alcohol can have various adverse effects on your body. Although some states allow you to have a drink or two, it is best to avoid driving when you have such intentions, which can save your life and others.

It is important to educate every driver on the answer to “what does alcohol do to your driving skills and judgement” so that they are aware of the risks before they consider getting behind the wheel when drunk.

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