This article is not another one on how to learn basic driving skills. You don’t need to be reading about changing lanes, parallel parking and turn signals. Instead you will be learning about the risks taken when drinking and driving and how drinking even a little before driving can cause major problems. Associations like MADD, Mothers Against Drunk Driving, have been able to make great strides in educating people about driving after drinking. However you should consider how drinking can affect your driving skills.

Just one drink can affect the way you multitask. Multitasking is a hard skill to accomplish even without alcohol and when you are under the influence it can become extremely hard. Some classic TV shows make fun of drunken people messing up as they try to multitask. We lose our ability to function normally when we are drinking and multitasking is a major skill that is affected.

Even when you are not under the influence of alcohol you need to concentrate in order to drive. You must keep up a continuous watch on rearview mirrors, side mirrors or just out of the windshield. Even on remote country lanes, where there are not many drivers on the road, we still have to be alert and be aware of our surroundings, as animals could cross at anytime and present a danger. If our senses are impaired and we are unable to concentrate our driving will not be up to standard.

Busy roads present a challenge even when you are sober. The reason is because a number of things can change in an instant. There are others driving on the road and they can often be unpredictable. For example there could be a driver beside you who can either brake half a mile before a stop sign or suddenly change lanes without warning. Not everyone is as careful on the road as they should be. Alcohol numbs the senses and makes your reaction times slower. The simple act of navigating through traffic can become difficult when our reactions become slow and there a chance that an accident can occur.

There are many other reasons why driving safely can be very difficult after just one or two drinks, but these examples should begin to show that drinking and driving is just a bad idea. It can be very dangerous, and should be avoided. Get a designated driver, or choose not to drink if you are somewhere that it would be difficult to take a cab home from. If all else fails, sleep in your car for the night if you can’t find a ride. Your safety and the safety of others is too important.

This information is provided solely for informational purposes and does not constitute legal advice.

William Bly of Nielsen and Bly is an attorney whose website has more information available about issues.