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What are the Effects of Drugs on Driving?

Your hands, eyes, and feet handle the car while you drive, and your brain helps you control them. To drive safely, you need to be aware of what’s happening.

Drugs and alcohol change the function of the brain and body. That makes it hard for even the best and most experienced driver to drive safely. Any medication that slows you down, speeds you up or changes how you see things can make you less safe behind the wheel. Too often, this leads to terrible accidents.

What Is the Definition of Drunk Driving?

Driving while drunk means having a blood alcohol content (BAC) level of 0.08% or more when you get behind the wheel. You can also say “driving drunk” or “driving under the influence” after the person who did it.

DUIs can happen in any motor vehicle, like a car, a motorbike, a golf cart, or a boat. People who talk about drunk driving most often talk about cars and motorcycles because they are the most popular types of vehicles on public roads. They are also the most dangerous.

It can still be dangerous to drive after drinking, even if you are not over the legal limit. As little as 0.01 per cent BAC is enough for alcohol to start having effects on your body that make it unsafe to drive.

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Here, we are going to explain how alcohol and other drugs affect driving:


Stimulant drugs, caffeine, amphetamines, and cocaine may increase alertness but do not enhance driving skills. They can cause overconfidence, risky driving, and aggression.

Cocaine users may feel confident but may experience vision issues, blurring glare, and hallucinations. They may also hear or smell unrelated sounds or scents, distracting them from driving.

It’s critical to avoid these stimulants and ensure proper driving habits.

Alcohol and other depressant drugs

Alcohol can significantly impact driving skills. It leads to impaired alertness, vision, depth perception, and judgment. It can also cause reckless driving, such as weaving, speeding, and crashing.

Alcohol, as a depressant, slows down the brain and body, similar to other depressant drugs like sedatives and painkillers. Combining alcohol with other depressant drugs can result in more intense and dangerous effects.

Consultation with a doctor is recommended before driving.

Cannabis and other hallucinogens

Cannabis makes it harder to focus, pay attention, and judge depth. It also slows down reaction time and weakens muscles and hands. All of these things can make it unsafe to drive. Hallucinogens, which include LSD, ecstasy, mescaline, and psilocybin, change how you think and feel. It is hazardous to go while high on any of these drugs.

The consequences of a DUI

A DUI can result in fines, a misdemeanour or felony, community service, alcohol awareness classes, and mandatory interlock ignition device installation. These consequences are public, affecting employers, romantic partners, family members, and landlords. Although not fatal, a DUI can damage one’s reputation and finances.

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How often does drugged driving cause crashes?

Drugged driving is difficult to quantify due to the lack of a reliable roadside test, drug-induced effects, and the lack of evidence for a DUI charge. Commonly misused drugs like marijuana and opioids can impact driving skills and cognitive functions.

However, the Governors Highway Safety Association reported that 43.6 per cent of fatally injured drivers tested positive for drugs in the previous years.

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