Does Anyone Actually Drive Better While Drunk?

Does Anyone Actually Drive Better While Drunk?

Many people admit that their “drunk” selves are prone to make poor choices that their sober selves would never make. However, it seems like for every 100 people who believe this, there is one person who genuinely believes that being “buzzed” makes them better in a variety of activities. Typically, these activities are harmless ones like lawn games and cooking, but every so often, we hear “driving.” While we shake our heads, we may wonder if there is a sliver of truth behind the statement. Well, let’s put the belief to rest once and for all.

(Misguided) Arguments for Driving Better Drunk

If people are willing to say that they drive better inebriated than there is no doubt they have a reason as to why they believe this.

Common (misguided) beliefs as to why alcohol can make someone a better driver:

  • “I’m calmer, I usually road rage, but alcohol soothes me and makes me more passive.”
  • “I’m focused, I don’t think about driving while I’m sober, but I’m super concentrated when I’ve had a few.”

Busting the Beliefs

While the above-mentioned arguments seem plausible, the reality is that each one has serious flaws in both science and logic.

  • “I’m calmer, I usually road rage, but alcohol soothes me and makes me more passive.”

There is truth to the fact that alcohol intake can reduce (or in large quantities, unhealthily suppress) anxiety and fear. This can lead people to think that alcohol makes them calm; however, alcohol actually increases someone’s aggression. In a research study that examined the relationship between alcohol and aggression, the researchers found that, “If individuals tend to express their anger outwardly, alcohol will “turn up the volume.” Therefore, drivers who road rage are actually more likely to road rage while drunk.

  • “I’m more focused, I don’t think about driving while I’m sober, but I’m super concentrated when I’ve had a few.”

Many people believe that the amount of focus someone has on a task directly correlates to their ability to perform that task. Unfortunately, focus alone is not a sole indicator of one’s ability to accomplish a task. In fact, driving is “mindless” when we are sober because driving is a rote task. A rote task is a task that becomes habitual over time, which means driving is a habitual practice that does not require a lot of our attention.

However, when people are drunk, driving becomes a task that they concentrate on. This concentration is not a benefit of alcohol, but a side effect of being drunk. When people are drunk, their driving capabilities practically resort back to when they first learned how to drive, so the task is no longer rote, but becomes difficult to accomplish. All that to say, driving drunk makes it difficult to drive, which makes the driver have to concentrate more than usual, which is not an indicator of one’s ability to drive, just an indicator of the state of their mind.

Clearly, driving while drunk does not make people better drivers even though some people feel that way. Hopefully, this blog helps you defend the position that drunk driving is never easier than driving while sober. However, if you do find yourself being charged for a DUI, know that Newman & Allen are here to help!

Categories:

When We Are With The Client,

It Is Our Job To Listen.
    • Please enter your name.
    • This isn't a valid phone number.
    • Please enter your email address.
      This isn't a valid email address.
    • Please make a selection.
    • Please enter a message.