Drivers Aid Section Alcohol and Drugs Essay

Submitted By queenkarina
Words: 3670
Pages: 15

Section: ALCOHOL AND DRUGS |

| Let's be clear. If you are taking this course, you are probably under the legal drinking age and if you drink, you do so illegally. This course presents information about the drug known as alcohol. This course does not in any way condone alcohol use. The facts presented here show how dangerous it is to drink and how deadly it is to drink and drive. However, the overriding fact is that drinking, for you, is illegal. Period. | |

Section: SOME SOBERING FACTS |

| Both state and national statistics indicate that each year almost 40% of all traffic fatalities are alcohol related. | |

| The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported that there were 10,839 alcohol-impaired driving fatalities in 2009—32% of the total traffic fatalities for the year. That statistic means that someone is killed by a drunk driver almost every 48 minutes. | |

| In 2008, 31% of 15- to 20-year-old drivers killed in motor vehicle collisions had been drinking (NHTSA, Traffic Safety Facts, Young Drivers, 2008). | |

Section: REASONS TO RETHINK DECISION TO DRINK |

Apart from being illegal, underage drinking poses a high risk to both the individual and society. For example, the rate of alcohol-related traffic collisions is greater for drivers ages 16 to 20 than for drivers older than 21. Young people also are vulnerable to alcohol-induced brain damage, which can contribute to poor performance at school or work. In addition, drinking at a young age increases the likelihood of developing into alcohol abuse later in life. |

| Alcohol increases the death rate of adolescents. Studies show that for 15- to 24-year-olds, a significant number of deaths were unnatural and preventable. They included alcohol-related car collisions, suicides, and homicides. | |

Teenagers are still developing emotionally. A young person is forming a sense of personal identity and faces a lot of social situations that require difficult choices, with significant moral, emotional, and physical consequences. Alcohol disrupts this process by producing a chemical reaction that affects the process of learning how to deal with others, carry out responsibilities, and handle problems.
There is no known "safe" dose of alcohol for young people. Any level of alcohol in the body of a young person puts him or her at higher risk. |

All states now have minimum drinking age laws (21+ years old). The NHTSA estimates that these laws have reduced traffic fatalities involving drivers 18 to 20 years old by 13% and have saved an estimated 27,675 lives since 1975. In 2009, an estimated 623 lives were saved by minimum-drinking-age laws. |

Section: EFFECTS OF ALCOHOL |

* Ethyl alcohol is the most commonly used and abused drug in the United States. * Use of alcohol or other drugs adversely affects driving ability. Taking more than one drug at a time is particularly dangerous since each can add significantly to the impact of the other, especially when one of the drugs is alcohol. |

| Stress and fatigue are both impairments to driving, but the effects of alcohol are more dangerous than these biological feelings. Alcohol distorts one’s perception and hinders their ability to safely operate a car. When a driver is just tired, he or she can still sense the fatigue setting in. But with alcohol, an impaired driver will feel no difference in ability, even though his or her mental and physical capabilities are now severely limited. Driving under the influence of alcohol leads to risk-taking and puts everyone -the driver, passengers, and other people on the road - in a potentially deadly situation. | |

Alcohol’s effect on decision-making and how the brain processes information is well known. Loss of self-control, confusion, and an inability to concentrate are common consequences of drinking alcohol. When these effects are combined with the driving inexperience, the results are often…