Whether your drink of choice is beer, wine, or hard liquor, they all have the same effect. Alcohol is a depressant that causes reflexes to become sluggish, requires more time to react to stimuli, distorts your vision, and skews your judgment. In contrast, alcohol can give you a false sense of security that may lead to taking chances behind the wheel that you would second guess if you were sober. Many times, these situations result in a serious auto accident injury or even death.
Just one drink per hour can even impact your driving. Alcohol's effects can be compounded if you are drowsy, angry, or have not had anything to eat recently. While drinking, you no longer are capable of driving normally; regardless of how cautious you think you are or how much you focus, you still have a foreign substance inside your body that lead to the deterioration of your physical ability and mental capacity.
Blood alcohol content (BAC)
Alcohol is essentially a poison that can be detrimental to your body if consumed in large amounts over a brief time period. As a result, your body works overtime to excrete it from your system. Since it is indigestible, alcohol is not broken down the same way as food. In a lengthy process, your kidneys and liver process the alcohol to rid it from the bloodstream. There is no quick fix to eliminate alcohol from your system, but if you drink black coffee, take a cold shower, exercise, or eat something to coat your stomach, you may feel better and more alert. However, these remedies do not filter the alcohol out any faster.
Even if you've only had one drink, do not drive. It can be difficult to assess when you've had too much, so you're best off playing it safe. The measurement of alcohol running through your bloodstream is called blood alcohol content, or BAC. There are two methods to determine BAC: a blood test and breathalyzer. BAC is dependent upon:
It is possible to estimate your BAC by keeping track of the number and type of drinks you've consumed from the time you began drinking. A 12-ounce beer, a four-ounce glass of wine, and a one-ounce serving of 80-proof liquor all contain approximately a half ounce of alcohol. Each of these drinks will increase a normal sized person's BAC by .02. Consuming more than one drink per hour will trigger a rise in BAC, and typically, each drink you have requires an additional hour to leave your system. For example, if you had three beers between 9 p.m. and 10 p.m., you would need to wait until midnight before you become sober.