The Body’s Reaction to Excessive Drinking—And Why It’s Hard to Know When You’re Too Drunk to Drive

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WEST SACRAMENTO, California. We hear endless public service announcements about the real dangers of drinking and driving. Drinking and driving takes an immense toll on society, from the suffering of its victims to the penalties imposed upon those who are arrested for DUIs in West Sacramento, California. We all know that drinking and driving is bad for us and dangerous, not to mention that it can get us into a world of legal trouble if we’re found guilty of a DUI. Yet, why do so many people continue to do it?

Science may provide an answer. Many people may choose to drink and drive because they simply do not realize how drunk they are. According to Discover Magazine, just being surrounded by other drunk people can distort your own sense of how drunk you are. In fact, one study found that individuals were better able to tell they were drunk when they were surrounded by sober individuals. Sober individuals may be providing more social cues to the drunk individuals to help them better sense how intoxicated they are. Yet, in social environments, like bars or night clubs, where most people may be drinking, it can be hard for individuals to know how drunk they are. This could lead to more people choosing to drink and drive, thinking that they are more sober than they in fact, are.

According to Popular Science, alcohol affects your motor skills, which can definitely interfere with your ability to operate a car. And, drinking and smoking marijuana, could increase the rate at which alcohol is absorbed. Alcohol also has a sedative effect. This can also interfere with a person’s ability to drive effectively. In fact, mixing alcohol with antidepressants can result in death due to the combined sedative effects. These sedative effects can also impact your ability to think clearly, which can affect your judgment, either leading you to drink and drive in the first place, or make poor decisions when you are behind the wheel.

Alcohol also releases dopamine, the brain’s “feel good” chemical. The more you drink, the better you might feel in the short term, but you may be setting up your brain to be more depressed in the long term. The more you drink, the more you’ll need to release the brain’s reward chemicals, which can lead to alcoholism, dependency, or excessive drinking.

Alcohol’s very nature as an intoxicant makes it more likely that users will make serious errors of judgment while using it. Some individuals may drink and drive for many years without getting caught, reinforcing the practice, and leading them to think they can get away with more. At the end of the day, a DUI is a serious criminal charge in California. The Linda Louder Law Office in Sacramento sees cases where individuals made a mistake, or misjudged their level of intoxication. If you’re facing criminal charges, you need a qualified criminal defense lawyer on your side. Visit to learn more today.

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