Study further explains dangers of drinking and driving

A recent study has revealed just how dangerous it is to get behind the wheel while under the influence of alcohol. The study, which was published in the journal Alcohol, revealed the affect of alcohol on connections in the brain that control muscle and visual movements.

The researchers conducted tests on 14 individuals, measuring their visual and muscle control when sober and when under the influence of alcohol. Each participant in the study performed the same test before drinking and again with a blood alcohol content of around 0.1. The researchers used an MRI scan to chart the participant's brain activity during the tests.

The study showed that the connections in the brain between the areas primarily responsible for visual and motor skills and the supplementary motor area decreased after the participants consumed alcohol. The supplementary motor area in the brain is responsible for preparing for and performing certain movements.

These results could affect the amount of alcohol considered acceptable for motorists to consume when they intend to get behind the wheel. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, almost 10,230 people died in drunk driving accidents in the United States in 2010. In fact, drivers impaired by alcohol caused 31 percent of all motor vehicle accident fatalities that year across the country.

Avoid dangerous impaired driving accidents in California

Although the statistics in California regarding drunk driving have been improving slowly, the percentage of traffic fatalities caused by drunk driving accidents is still higher than the national average. In 2010, 39 percent of all traffic fatalities in California were caused by a drunk driver.

Under California law, drivers over the legal drinking age are prohibited from operating a motor vehicle if their blood alcohol concentration is 0.08 percent or above. As failing to abide by the law can result in tragic motor vehicle accidents, it is important to take steps to ensure your safety and the safety of others on the road.

When someone is under the influence of alcohol, he or she should always ensure a sober, designated driver is available to drive home at the end of the night. Otherwise, the person under the influence should take a taxi or some other form of public transportation.

If you are with a friend who is under the influence of alcohol, but is attempting to drive, it is wise to take their keys. If possible, help find an alternate way for him or her to get home safely.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a drunk driving accident, you may be entitled to compensation for the harm caused. Consulting with an experienced personal injury attorney will ensure your rights are protected.