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12/20

Dutch Study Indicates Driving Hung Over Just as Risky As Driving Under the Influence

Posted by: Jack Bernstein

hungover_driverBy now no one who drives a vehicle should be able to say with a straight face that they are unaware of the dangers of drinking and driving.  We have been inundated with information regarding how much more likely we are to be involved in crashes if we have been consuming alcohol and we should also understand just how tough the penalties for DUI are in every state.  As such, most of us who have found ourselves in a position where we were out with a vehicle and consumed alcohol have figured out a way to avoid driving.

Sleeping it off, so to speak, and then getting up and dealing with the logistics from the previous evening has always been seen as the responsible choice.  After all, driving with alcohol in our system is never, ever a good decision.  However, the results of a recent study in the Netherlands may be adding to the list of bad decisions in that driving on the morning after consuming alcohol may not be safe either.  An article describing the study can be found here.

A professor at Utrecht University had 47 subjects attempt to drive after an evening of heavily consuming alcohol.  What that professor found was that people who were hung over were still severely impaired in terms of their ability to drive on the following morning.  As such, the conclusion was that people who are still feeling the effects of the night before are just as dangerous as people who are still technically under the influence of alcohol.  The subjects did not drive until the alcohol had left their systems.

What this suggests is most likely something that is not a huge surprise – people’s reaction times are slower and their focus is not as sharp when they are cloudy-headed, but perhaps this study will prompt additional analysis of driving while hung over.  While it is clear that someone cannot be arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol when there is no alcohol in their system, people in this position are still impaired to some degree.

While the presence or absence of alcohol will make an enormous difference in terms of criminal law, it will not necessarily have a tangible impact on a personal injury lawsuit if someone is badly injured by a driver who was hung over.  That’s because if a driver was impaired and made a mistake that caused a crash, that driver can still be held accountable for that mistake if someone suffers injuries and losses as a result.

That’s just another reason why anyone who has been injured by a negligent driver needs to take some time to speak to Las Vegas accident lawyers who understand how to investigate crashes and come to conclusions as to what caused them.  If you find yourself in this difficult position, contact Bernstein & Poisson as soon as possible to schedule a free initial consultation.

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