How Does Alcohol Affect Your Motor Skills?

How Does Alcohol Affect Your Motor Skills?

March 22, 2019

There is a very good reason why it is illegal for people to get behind the wheel with a blood alcohol content of .08 or above: alcohol has a variety of effects that can impair your decision making and motor skills. It simply is not safe for a person with a certain amount of alcohol in their system to be operating a motor vehicle.

So how exactly does alcohol affect your motor skills? Here’s some information from a criminal attorney in Lubbock, TX.

Reaction time

Alcohol results in both an increased processing time for information that comes into your brain as well as a decreased accuracy of processing of the information that gets transmitted throughout your entire central nervous system. This loss of reaction time combined with loss of coordination results in thousands of alcohol-related injuries and deaths every year.

Muscle control

As you are likely aware, alcohol acts as a depressant on the body’s central nervous system. But what exactly does this mean?

Basically, any messages that get carried to and from the brain and the muscles and nerves throughout the body can be slowed down or improperly transmitted as a result of drinking alcohol. Signals that come from the brain, such as pain and other sensations, can also be dulled, which means that if you get into an accident, you’ll have a decreased awareness of injury as well, which can be dangerous in its own regard. Finally, the signals sent from the brain out to your muscles will be deteriorated or slowed down, causing some of your precision motor skills to worsen or even essentially shut down.

The more alcohol you have in your system, the more severe all these effects become. This is why there is a maximum BAC for drivers to legally have, as well as increasing penalties for driving with higher BACs.

Impaired vision

Another effect associated with alcohol is impaired vision, which can reduce one’s effective motor control. Alcohol has negative effects on vision in several ways, including narrowed field of vision, increased susceptibility to glares and decreased ability to differentiate colors. With all of these effects combined, it becomes much more likely that drivers will make errors in judgement while exercising motor control, because they’re not able to clearly see what’s happening in their surroundings.

Other effects

The effects of alcohol on the body’s motor skills can also be compounded with some other effects and elements, such as the use of drugs or general fatigue. These compounding effects are greater than any factor would be simply by itself. A person who is both tired and drunk, for example, is significantly more dangerous than even a driver who is just drunk.

For more information about how alcohol affects motor skills and why law enforcement puts so much emphasis on cracking down on drunk drivers, we encourage you to contact an attorney in Lubbock, TX with any questions you have about traffic and personal injury law. Reach out to the Law Office of Rob Biggers today to learn more!

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