ALCOHOL HAS SERIOUS EFFECTS ON DRIVING ABILITY
According to the Tennessee state government website, alcohol impairment can have a substantially negative effect on drivers’ ability to safely operate their vehicles. Because of this, the state includes numerous questions on alcohol consumption, drug use and drinking and driving in its knowledge tests for driver’s licenses. Those who take this test can expect that 25 percent or more of their questions will involve these issues.
Alcohol consumption quickly impairs a driver’s coordination, which in turn affects that person’s ability to react to driving conditions quickly and safely. It is important to note that this change in reaction time is not necessarily tied to high levels of consumption; it can occur with a blood alcohol content level of just 0.02.
Because alcohol is a depressant, it slows body functions and nerve impulses. As a result, a driver’s ability to stay alert and concentrate is dulled when alcohol is consumed. This problem can be compounded when alcohol is mixed with drugs, especially sedatives and tranquilizers.
Because of the serious nature of drunk driving, the state of Tennessee has implemented laws that require strict penalties for driving under the influence. According to the Department of Safety and Homeland Security, these penalties vary in severity based on the seriousness of the situation and whether it is a repeat offense. For example, a drunk driver who receives his or her first DUI conviction will face fines of between $350 and $1,500, but those who have had four or more DUI convictions could be required to pay as much as $15,000.