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When You Drink Alcohol, Judgment is the First to Go

brain in a glass - illustration by norebbo

It Takes Alcohol 30 minutes to Reach Your Brain

When alcohol enters your blood it takes about 15 – 30 minutes before it reaches the brain.

Your mental functions are affected, and your judgment is the first to go. This means that your ability to reason and use logic is quickly reduced when you drink.

Remember, it doesn’t take much. Even small amounts of alcohol cloud your judgment.

Alcohol is a Depressant

Alcohol depresses your central nervous system and slows you down.

Among other things, alcohol impairs your ability to concentrate on the multiple tasks involved in driving.

Multi-tasking behind the wheel include controlling vehicle speed, positioning your vehicle, knowing what is happening around you, and maybe participating in conversation with passengers.

When drinking you are easily distracted and may not be able to respond properly to emergency situations or to comprehend the meaning of simple signals and road signs.

Your Motor Skills are Affected

Your ability to coordinate motor skills is affected. The loss of coordination also affects your ability to react. You react slower. Your reaction time can be slowed down by 25-50%.

This affects your stopping distance in case of an emergency and can result in crashes and accidents which could have been avoided if you had no alcohol in your system.

Your Vision is Affected

After a few drinks, the ability to see and hear clearly is also impaired.

Your peripheral vision fades, resulting in tunnel vision. Your ability to depth perception is degraded. It gets harder to judge distances, speed, and movements of other vehicles.

When you drive at night you will find that the glare from oncoming headlights troubles you more than usual. This glare can make you temporarily blind and may take a few seconds before your eyes adapt.

Alcohol relaxes eye muscles and slows down reactions of pupil. This becomes more apparent the older you get.

Summary of Alcohol Effects

Remember, among many other things, alcohol affects:

  • Judgment
  • Vision
  • Comprehension
  • Reasoning
  • Concentration
  • Reaction time
  • Coordination

Learn more:

  What is Blood Alcohol Centration (BAC)

  What can help you sober up?

About Mark
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