Even at a small dose, alcohol quickly affects reflexes, vigilance and the ability to judge. This phenomenon promotes the occurrence of road accidents, violent or at-risk behaviors.
What is the IMPACT of alcohol on the body?
Alcohol is a psychoactive product, which has a direct effect on the brain. It can lead to various events, depending on the amount ingested.
At low doses, alcohol provides a sensation of relaxation and euphoria, or even excitement. It has a inhabiting effect (liberation of speech, letting go, feeling of ease in carrying out tasks…) and helps to overcome a possible shyness. However, errors in the execution of tasks are more numerous.
At the highest dose, alcohol causes drunkenness, which translates, for example, to:
-Poor coordination of movements
-An increase in reaction time
-A sharper decrease in reflexes and vigilance;
-Difficulties to speak
-A state of drowsiness…
The very large consumption of alcohol can cause drowsiness or even a loss of knowledge: it is the ethyl coma. In this case the blood pressure and the body temperature decrease. This condition is more common in case of massive alcohol consumption in a short period of time (or “binge drinking”). It requires an emergency hospitalization, because for lack of care it can be fatal.
Alcohol: A common CAUSE of road ACCIDENTS
Alcohol and road accidents
In France, on the road, alcohol is involved in 1/3 fatal accidents.
In 2016, in road accidents involving an alcoholic driver:
- 1009 people were killed;
- Nearly 3500 were wounded in hospital;
- More than 9 out of 10 alcoholic drivers involved in fatal accidents were men.
This frequency is explained by the effects of alcohol on the organism. Alcohol also disturbs the vision and estimation of distances. In addition, its inhabiting effect leads to undervaluing the hazard and taking risks (dangerous driving and/or without a helmet or safety belt). This is why it is absolutely necessary to avoid taking the wheel after drinking alcohol.
Blood Alcohol and road law
A blood alcohol concentration of between 0.5 g and 0.8 g of alcohol per litre, or between 0.25 mg and 0.4 mg per litre of exhaled air, as measured by breathalyzer, is subject to a contravention.
When the blood alcohol level is greater than 0.8 g per litre of sang or 0.4 mg per litre of exhaled air, this is an offence.
The possible consequences of excess alcohol on behaviour
Excess alcohol consumption can lead to changes in behaviour:
Alcohol: Aggression, violence, crime…
Alcohol changes reactions to a given situation. Also, a drunken person tends to focus on the possible irritation she feels in the present.
Less aware of the consequences of his actions, she can lose her composure faster, act more extreme or aggressive, both towards others (domestic violence, aggressions…) and to herself (Passage to the suicidal Act for example).
Alcohol: Sexual intercourse at risk!
Excess alcohol affects the ability to control situations and set limits. The risk is to have an unwanted sexual relationship or to forget the contraceptive measures, and to prevent sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
And although alcohol disinhibits, it can also cause erectile dysfunction in humans and lessen the pleasure in women.