The Dangers of Driving High & Under the Influence

Published: March 29, 2023
Last updated: February 29, 2024

We’ve all likely got that one friend who has had a few too many drinks but thinks it's still ok to drive. Even if a person seems fine, the effects of driving drunk or under the influence of drugs can drastically impact a person’s ability to drive a vehicle, and driving impaired in any amount can result in an accident that causes harm to yourself and others. The reason we have laws against driving impaired is to protect ourselves and others from harm. 

If you’re unfamiliar with the dangers of driving high or under the influence, we are going to discuss them here to give you a better idea of what drugs and alcohol can do to you and why it is a bad idea to operate a motor vehicle while under the influence in the first place. 

The Effects of Alcohol 

Alcohol is one of the most widely available substances in America and one of the most widely abused too. Though most people don’t see it as a drug, it interacts with the body just like more illicit drugs. 

Alcohol acts as what is known as a depressant. When it enters the body it interacts with the central nervous system and the brain. When this happens, reaction time slows and a person’s ability to focus and concentrate waivers. Additionally, they lose the ability to make rational decisions. 

What this means for someone behind the wheel of an automobile is that they no longer possess the ability to react in a timely manner in the event that they need to break or avoid a potential collision. They also cannot concentrate on driving as easily and may make the wrong decision in a tense situation. 

These effects can begin happening in as little as a couple of drinks. This is why most states have adopted a .08 legal alcohol limit, the equivalent of 2 alcoholic beverages. 

Marijuana and Other Drugs 

Alcohol isn’t the only substance that is dangerous to use and get behind the wheel.. Most every drug has some kind of negative side effect that makes driving an automobile dangerous. 

Marijuana for instance can cause everything from slowed reactions to paranoia and heart problems. If these effects occur while behind the wheel it can result in an accident and serious injuries or even death. 

Other drugs like heroin are responsible for a range of dangerous side effects that can compromise a person’s ability to drive, such as seizures, fainting, nausea, vomiting, and muscle tremors.

What makes the use of illicit drugs even more dangerous is that the effects can last for hours after use and there is no way to alter the effects midway through. Side effects of drug use are difficult to manage under normal situations, much less when behind the wheel of a vehicle. 

What Should I Do If I See Someone Under the Influence Behind the Wheel? 

If you are driving and notice someone behaving erratically and believe they may be under the influence, it is a good idea to call your local emergency services and report the vehicle. This way authorities can respond and defuse the situation before someone is injured. By no means should you try to engage the person in the vehicle or try to follow them because people under the influence can act in all manner of ways and you could be putting yourself at risk of harm. 

The best course of action is to avoid driving near the vehicle. Stay safely away from them and wait for them to get far enough away that you are out of danger until they can be intercepted by authorities. It’s always important to think about the safety of yourself and others when dealing with a driver who is under the influence.

We hope this information helps you understand the severity of driving under the influence and how it can increase the likelihood of an accident, as well as what to do if you see someone driving under the influence near you.  

Author Bio

Alana Redmond is a legal content writer that works with The Law Office of David A. Breston, a Houston law firm that specializes in DWI charges, criminal defense and immigration law.

Alana Redmond is a legal content writer that works with The Law Office of David A. Breston, a Houston law firm that specializes in DWI charges, criminal defense and immigration law.
Copyright © 2024 Keep Driving. All Rights Reserved.
DMCA.com Protection Status