Choices After Drinking

You made the choice to drink. What’s your next move?

As long as you are of legal drinking age, you can make the decision to drink. It’s the choices you make after drinking when deadly problems can arise. Although your decision-making declines over the course of drinking, you are still capable of making the simple decision to not drink and drive.

There are many ways alcohol affects the body and alters how a person feels, thinks or acts. Alcohol achieves this effect by altering chemical properties of the nervous system. Even in tiny amounts, alcohol can noticeably affect a person’s decision-making and cause significant impairment.

Signs Of Impairment Related To BAC Levels:

  • .02% – .04%: Feel relaxed; impaired judgment; less inhibited; decline in ability to perform two tasks at the same time; decline in visual functions.
  • .05% – .07%: Emotions and behaviors are magnified; may have loss of small muscle control; impaired judgment; lowered alertness; reduced coordination; reduced ability to track moving objects; reduced response to emergency driving situation.
  • .08% – .14%: Muscle coordination becomes poor; harder to detect danger; significantly impaired judgment; lowered self-control; reasoning and memory are impaired; clear deterioration of reaction time and control; slurred speech; slowed thinking.
  • .15% and above: Far less muscle control than normal; vomiting may occur; major loss of balance; amnesia; blackouts; substantial impairment in vehicle control, attention to driving task, and in necessary visual and auditory information processing.

SOURCE: The ABCs of BAC, 25 July 2014.


Choices After Drinking

You can still make smart choices after you begin drinking alcohol. But that window gets smaller with each sip you take. Here are some tips after you’ve begun drinking alcohol:

  • Limit the amount of alcohol you drink; sip slowly and space drinks over time.
  • Keep public transportation and taxi numbers handy and use them if you’ve been drinking.
  • Download ride-sharing apps on your phone before you start drinking.
  • Ask a non-drinking driver to take you home. Call someone to pick you up, if necessary.