One of the aspects of responsible drinking is ensuring that you arrange safe transport home and do not engage in drink driving.
Although most people think they can handle driving after a few drinks, countless studies (and statistics) have proven that alcohol reduces a person’s ability to drive safely. Even those who show few visible signs of alcohol in their system do not drive as well as usual after drinking. This is because alcohol affects most areas of the brain, and these effects are wide-ranging and impossible to compensate for. The brain being responsible for your movements and reflexes, it becomes difficult to engage in complex tasks once it has been affected by alcohol.
It is also because alcohol is a depressant which means it has the following effects:
- Slowing brain function making it difficult to respond to situations, make decisions or react quickly.
- Reduces a person’s ability to judge how fast they are travelling or the distance from other cars.
- It gives a person false confidence. People take greater risks because they think their driving is better than it really is.
- Makes multi-tasking difficult. When it comes to driving, while you concentrate on steering, you could miss seeing traffic lights, cars entering from side streets or pedestrians.
- Affects the sense of balance which is especially important for motorcycle riders.
- Causes sleepiness.
From these effects it becomes obvious that operating any machinery or vehicles once intoxicated is not only irresponsible but selfish because you could do more harm to others than you do to yourself. It is not only car or truck drivers that can injure or kill people and damage property as an incident in Brisbane recently proved. An elderly man was charged with operating his motorised wheelchair while intoxicated. The man was without any remorse although being found to be 4 times over the legal limit. It seems the man’s motorised wheelchair overturned probably due to speeding or reckless driving.
Read what this post on Brisbanetimes.com.au reported on the incident:
Ray Vivian Hodges, of Buderim on the Sunshine Coast, recorded the alcohol reading after police found him sprawled on the ground, shirtless and mumbling incoherently, beside his overturned scooter at Mooloolaba in late March.
With the aid of a walking stick, Mr Hodges has faced Maroochydore Magistrates Court for what was his fourth drink-driving charge since 2008.
Mr Hodges who admitted consuming 10 large glasses of wine, recorded a blood-alcohol reading of 0.209.
He had “taken offence” at some police allegations particularly the categorisation of his scooter as a vehicle, saying “on this occasion, the wheelchair was my legs [and] as my legs, it was the only way I could get home”.
Mr Hodges was disqualified from driving for 18 months and sentenced to four months in jail, suspended for two years.
The magistrate said that in light of the recent death of a scooter rider, Kim Horrigan, who was hit by a van at Currimundi, people like Mr Hodges need to be stopped before they kill themselves or someone else.