Drink – Drug Abuse & Driving

A look at Drink and Drug Abuse

Although drink and drug abuse sounds in itself an evil affliction that may happen to other people, hopefully far away, it is something that has been surprisingly close to most of us.

Alcohol is the most almost certainly the most widely used, and subsequently, most abused drug in our society.

Although it takes a step back and a moment or two for most of us to see alcohol as a drug, dear old ethyl alcohol is indeed a central nervous system depressant, and it slows some of our brain functions.

Alcohol is produced by adding yeast to the natural fermentation process of fruit, vegetables or cereal grains, which turns the natural sugars into ethyl alcohol.

The immediate effects of alcohol consumption usually depends on how the brain perceives the environment at the time. In a social environment, with movement, sights, sounds and actions, moderate intake of alcohol will affect the central nervous system, giving the impression of stimulation.

This is a result of suppression of normal brain activity, and may manifest itself in less self- restraint, and more talking.

When more alcohol is consumed, more of the brains centres become inhibited, the speech centre, for instance which will result in slurred speech, or the vision centres which can make focus difficult or blurred.

It can then affect coordination and balance. If the brain is in a quiet environment, with little surrounding activity, moderate intake can give a feeling of tranquillity or even sleepiness.

Most of us have come across alcohol in our lives, to one extent or another and perceive it to be more a sort of social lubricant rather than a potentially lethal drug.

Alcohol dependency can take surprisingly mellow forms, a couple of glasses of sherry per day are as important to some as having to smoke a joint, to others, one almost completely socially accepted, the other, in many circles, an unpleasant sign of addiction.

Where will society place either, in say, one hundred years time.

One constant is the problem with drink or drug abuse and driving. There are now “drugalyser” kits which the police can use “roadside” rather like the breathalyser to detect cannabis or cocaine influence, and virtually any evidence of their presence result in severe penalties.

Drinking and driving continues to throw in a grey area of what level is legal and what is not and has led to much confusion as drink drive penalties are routinely being applied to drug drive offences despite the huge differences in the longer term effects. Pattersonlaw.co.uk can help you to navigate the legal minefield that currently exists.

Measured in one unit of alcohol per half pint of beer, 1.5 to 2 pints will be at the upper limit, this would read around 50/80mg per 100mml, the legal limit being 80mg /100mml blood alcohol limit.

This is a rule of thumb which may put some over the limit, and some not, but it is worth bearing in mind that women often produce a higher blood alcohol concentration than men, for the same amount of alcohol.