Can alcohol affect a person’s ability to drive?

drunk driving

Oftentimes, drunk driving accidents result in tragic injuries that negatively impact a person’s life. Alcohol consumption can severely affect a person’s ability to drive. Individuals should never get behind the wheel while intoxicated as the critical skills needed to operate a vehicle are significantly hampered by alcohol. The most common cause of drunk driving accidents is negligence. If you or someone you care about has been injured in a drunk driving accident, contact a qualified and dedicated Santa Clara County Drunk Driving Accident Attorney who can help you seek the justice you deserve and recover financial compensation for your economic and non-economic losses. 

How does alcohol affect a person’s ability to safely drive a motor vehicle?

Alcohol consumption severely affects a person’s ability to drive. Alcohol is a depressant drug that slows down an individual’s brain activity. This hinders the critical skills individuals need to operate a vehicle. If a person’s brain is not fully functioning, they will not be able to drive safely. For instance, if an individual has reduced eye-hand-foot coordination, they will have trouble pressing the gas and breaking. If an individual has impaired vision making them see double, they may shift into another lane. Drivers must be sober to avoid causing collisions and serious injuries. Alcohol can cause a person to experience:

  • Altered judgment
  • Reduced reaction time
  • Impaired vision and hearing
  • Reduced coordination
  • Reduced concentration
  • Reduced comprehension
  • Increased confidence leads to an increase in risk-taking

Alcohol consumption negatively impacts an individual’s ability to drive. All of the critical components listed above are needed to safely and responsibly operate a motor vehicle. If a driver neglects to abide by the rules of the road and consumes alcohol before getting behind the wheel, they are risking everyone’s safety including their own.

What are California’s dram shop laws?

In various states across the country, dram shop laws are enforced which allow victims of drunk driving accidents to hold commercial establishments responsible for damages. Dram shops are essentially any establishments that sell alcohol to customers. In some states, if a dram shop over-serves a visibly intoxicated customer or serves a minor under the age of 21, they could be held liable for damages sustained in drunk driving accidents. However, California does not enforce dram shop laws. The only liable party that can be held civilly liable for a drunk driving accident is the intoxicated driver. Unless the dram shop supplied a minor with alcohol and that minor caused a drunk driving accident, then victims may be able to hold a dram shop accountable for damages. However, they must prove that the commercial establishment knew or should have reasonably known that the customer they served was a minor. In California, victims have two years to take legal action against a negligent party. Victims must file a claim within those two years, if they fail to do so they will be barred from ever doing so in the future and miss their only opportunity to recover financial compensation.

If you or someone you love has been injured in a drunk driving accident due to a drunk driver’s negligence, reach out to one of our determined and skilled team members who can help you recover fair compensation for your damages. Our firm is committed to helping our clients hold negligent parties accountable for their reckless actions that endangered everyone’s safety and resulted in injury. We are ready to get the ball rolling and fight for you today.