Alcohol is a drug and a major contributor to crashes. It reduces the ability to search for hazards (perception), evaluate factors (thinking), and execute physical actions (coordination and reaction time).
Depressant drugs, such as alcohol, slow down the body’s functions. Alcohol enters the blood quickly and reaches the brain. The effects begin after the first drink and worsen as the drug builds up in the bloodstream. Judgment and vision are usually the first abilities to suffer and fade when drinking alcohol. Most people are affected with only one drink in their system.
A standard drink contains one-half ounce of pure ethyl alcohol:
- A 12-ounce beer.
- A mixed drink with 1.5 ounces of distilled (hard) liquor.
- A 5-ounce glass of wine.
Each contains about the same amount of pure alcohol. Some mixed drinks may contain more than one and one-half ounces of hard liquor.
Here are some sobering facts from the NHTSA and the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over Campaign. Each year, nearly 11,000 people die on our roads due to drunk driving. America has more drunk drivers than most countries have people. 17.2 million drivers have driven one or more times in the preceding 12 months when they thought they were over the legal limit. Every 48 minutes one more American will die because of drunk driving. Between midnight and 3am, drunk driving crashes claim a life every 23 minutes.
In Florida in 2011, impaired motorcyclists with a BAC of .08+ accounted for 26% of motorcycle fatalities, while impaired motorcyclists with a BAC of .01+ accounted for 32% of motorcycle fatalities. And who are the riders that are drinking and riding? The age group that was highest for fatally injured motorcycle riders with a BAC .08 g/dL or above was the 40-44 (38%) age group, followed by the 45–49 and 35–39 age groups at 37 percent, respectively.
It’s a well-known fact that drinking is a part of motorcycle riding culture, but it’s a risk-taking behavior that can harm yourself and many other innocent motoring public. The statistics are sobering, but even greater sobering consequences are getting hurt, getting arrested, or becoming a fatality. Before you put that key in the ignition and swing your leg over the bike, please remember that you are not the only one who suffers the consequences…your family and friends are unwilling victims of your actions. And as a family member and a friend, it’s your duty not to do it and an even greater duty not to let your buddy do it. Far too many friends have been lost on the roads of Florida….it’s up to you to make a difference.
Alcohol is quickly absorbed. In just a few minutes, the alcohol from one drink starts to circulate throughout the body and affect the brain. Just one drink will make you five times more likely to crash.
Alcohol and other drugs rob you of your ability to think clearly, use good judgment, react quickly, and maintain control over your motorcycle. These effects start the moment you’ve had your first drink.
Many people don’t understand that alcohol, drugs and motorcycle riding don’t mix. Impaired riding is no accident—nor is it a victimless crime. Riding a motorcycle while impaired is not worth the risk of losing your life, killing an innocent person, ruining your bike or going to jail.
The consequences of drunk riding are serious and real. Here’s just a sample of what you have to lose.
- your motorcycle will be impounded in placed in storage
- bond, legal costs, and towing fees
- up to $10,000 in fines if convicted of DWI
- increased insurance premiums if convicted of DWI
- lost time from work means lost wages
- Minimum 72 hours in jail following arrest
- Up to 10 years in jail if convicted of DWI
- Mandatory community service
Your driver’s license
- Suspension for up to 2 years if convicted of DWI
- Experience being handcuffed and place in the back of patrol car
- A criminal record for the rest of your life
- Explain your arrest to family, friends, and co-workers
- Live to ride another day.