It is never safe to get behind the wheel and drive after consuming alcohol. Most people believe that if they wait an hour or two after drinking alcohol they will be okay to drive. Well, per multiple international studies, drivers who are hungover are just as dangerous as drunk drivers. To put it simply, hungover driving is still impaired driving. Read on to learn more.
Impaired Driving Research Study
Utrecht University researchers conducted a study where participants were told to go out and partake in a night of heavy drinking. Participants were then asked to report to a lab the next morning. While experiencing symptoms of a hangover, researchers tested the participant’s driving abilities. A similar study was arranged in England. In Holland, a study was conducted to test the effects of a hangover on professional truck drivers. Across the board, the results demonstrated that the participant’s driving abilities were impaired.
Each study found that drivers who were hungover performed very poorly in the simulated driving tests. For example, many participants were swerving excessively and dangerously, weaving in and out of lanes, crossing the center lines while driving, and committing various traffic violations such as running red lights and stop signs. Participants in the studies reported that they felt a sense of tenseness during the driving test and that they had great difficulty concentrating on their driving. In fact, the drivers did such a poor job in these controlled driving simulations that their driving skills were comparable to drunk drivers.
A person’s driving abilities can be impaired even if hours have passed since they consumed any alcohol. This is because hangover symptoms begin once alcohol consumption stops. Low blood sugar, headaches, nausea, and general discomfort can distract a driver from the road and lower his/her reaction time. This can lead to an increased risk of accidents, traffic violations and much more serious consequences.
After a night of heavy drinking, don’t just sleep off the alcohol for a few hours before driving. You may still have alcohol in your system. Delay driving if possible by walking to get some breakfast or brunch, catching a ride with a friend, or requesting a late hotel check-out time if you’re traveling.
If you absolutely must go home or to work, call a cab, Uber, Lyft or other transportation service, or take public transit. Otherwise, that hangover can turn into a much bigger headache or lead to disastrous consequences on the road, including accidents, injuries and possibly an arrest.
I invite you to contact my law office to discuss your drunk driving arrest or charge. I provide drunk driving defense representation to individuals arrested in Washtenaw County. I can provide you with legal representation and guidance.