What Does Alcohol Do to Your Driving Skills and Judgement

Alcohol is a chemical substance that is used for various purposes which vary from medicines to household cleaning products. It can have a positive or negative effect depending on how it is used.

However, as a driver who loves drinking alcohol, should you drink and drive? What does alcohol do to your driving skills and judgment?

Alcohol can harm both your driving skills and judgment by making you disregard speed limits and making your vision unclear.

What is Alcohol?

Alcohol is a colorless, flammable chemical substance that is naturally produced through the fermentation of yeast, grain, sugar, and other sources of sugar.

It is commonly found in medicines, some drinks, household cleaning products, and some essential oils.

Alcohol is said to be a drug and can have a negative or positive effect on the person consuming it. The effect will depend on the quantity consumed per time and overtime.

Alcohol may also be referred to as any of the following; Ethanol (This is one of the common alcohols that is present in some drinks), Methanol (which is a chemical that serves as a lead for some other chemicals), Rubbing alcohol ( this is an alcohol solution used in medicines), etc.

Due to the fact that excessive consumption of alcohol can impair judgment and coordination, it is not advisable to drive a car when under the influence.

What Does Alcohol Do to Your Driving Skills and Judgement?

For those who are preparing for the DMV written test, the direct answer to the question “What does alcohol do to your driving skills and judgment?” is “It harms both driving skills and judgment.

  • It helps driving skills but harms your judgment.
  • It harms both driving skills and judgment.
  • It has no effect on either driving skills or judgment.
  • It has no effect on judgment but it harms driving skills.

There are different schools of thought on the effect of alcohol on a person and how it makes them behave.

Despite the different opinions, there is a common view which is the effect of alcohol consumption on a person’s driving skills and judgement.

It is important to know and understand what alcohol does to driving skills and judgment, therefore, we will take a look at some of them here;

1. Disregard for Speed Limit

One of the things alcohol does to your driving judgment is that it makes you disregard the speed limit.

The speed limit is the minimum or maximum pace road users are expected to drive when on the road, they are usually on the side of major roads and in clear sight of drivers.

When a driver is intoxicated i.e. under the influence of alcohol, he is not in a clear state of mind to give regard to the speed limit and will most likely drive at an unreasonable speed thereby putting other road users at risk.

2. Unclear Vision

Excessive consumption of alcohol will make your vision unclear. You will be unable to see things as they are. This is one reason why it is not advisable to drive when you have been drinking. Alcohol will affect your vision and make the road and signs blurry, and you need to develop good eye habits while driving.

3. There Will be a Delay in Your Reaction Time

Quick reaction time is important when driving on the road, especially on a major and busy road. With quick reaction time, you are able to move out of harm’s way.

Reacting quickly to hazardous situations will however not be possible when you are under the influence of alcohol. For one, your vision is blurry so you won’t be able to make out anything whether harmful or not clearly.

3. Less Coordination

Coordination is also important when driving, you need to be able to maintain your lane and not move onto other car lanes when driving. Drinking and driving will make your coordination little or non-existent.

Reasons Why You Should Never Drink and Drive

The major reasons why you should not drink and drive are:

Impaired Driving Skills

One of the many reasons why you should never drive and drink is that it affects your driving skills. You may be an expert when it comes to driving a car, but all of your expertise will go out the window if you get behind the wheels of a car when intoxicated.

Risk of Accident

With your driving skills impaired, you are no longer in control of the car and are therefore at a high risk of getting involved in an accident.

You may not be able to prevent a collision or crash with another car when you are under the influence of alcohol, hence why you shouldn’t drink and drive.

Loss of License or Employment

Drinking and driving may cause you to lose your driving license or job. Some employers do not take it lightly when an employee has a criminal record this may even lead to dismal from office.

Drinking and driving is an offense that can add points to your driving record, earn you a criminal record, and in turn, affect your employment status.

It is Punishable

In many states, drinking, and driving is an offense that is punishable by law. If you are caught by a law enforcement agent, you will be given a fitting punishment.

Also depending on the state, drivers are required to take a breath test at regular intervals in order to dissuade them from driving when intoxicated.

Why Does Alcohol Make It Hard to Drive?

Consumption of alcohol affects the body in many ways and eventually takes a toll on the body over time. It also makes it hard to drive but the question here is, why does alcohol make it hard to drive?

  • Alcohol makes it hard to drive because its consumption causes certain changes to some parts of the brain that help in controlling motor skills. With these changes, reflexes will be slowed down which affects the ability to steer the car safely.
  • It also becomes hard to drive when under the influence of alcohol because drinking causes the muscles that control the eyes to be relaxed. Relaxed eye muscles will result in slow visual reaction time and blurry vision.
  • Alcohol also makes it hard to drive because it reduces your sensory perception. It will be much more difficult to think with a clear head, and critical thinking and decision-making also become very hard. Plus, the driver will be unable to concentrate on a simple task like steering the car.

Don’t ask how long should you drink and drive. Don’t drive at all if you are drunk.


Drinking and driving is a serious offense that can attract punishment or penalty as serious as imprisonment. Driving when intoxicated not only puts the driver at risk of an accident but also other road users.