How Alcohol Affects Your Ability to Drive

Alcohol starts to affect our ability to safely operate a motor vehicle after the first drink. The more a person drinks during a meal or while out enjoying the Toronto club scene, the more the effects of alcohol become more noticeable and pronounced.

The last thing a person should do after drinking is get behind the wheel of their vehicle and attempt to drive home. Consuming alcohol and driving do not mix and should be avoided. Driving requires your complete focus and concentration, which you cannot do if you are impaired or drunk.


When intoxicated, you are not able to concentrate on multiple tasks simultaneously. It only takes one or two drinks to affect your concentration levels. Driving requires you to focus on multiple thinks at the same time, like your speed, other vehicles on the road, and your location on the road.


Our judgement to make rational decisions is altered when we drink. Even when there is low levels of alcohol in the blood stream, our judgment is impaired. Judgement is our ability to make rational decisions, reason, plan ahead, and think clearly.

For instance, when sober the thought of doing an Edge Walk at the CN Tower scares you because you dislike heights. Yet, after consuming several rounds of drinks, now this sounds like it might be fun to do.


Our visual responses are affected by consuming alcohol. It may take longer to focus our eyes. It can be difficult to determine proper distances. You may even experience blurred vision or problems interpreting different colours.


Alcohol affects our motor skills and speech patterns. It can also make it difficult for us to stand up straight, walk, or speak clearly.

Reaction Time

Alcohol slows our ability to react quickly to different stimuli. It takes our brains longer to process what is going on and form an appropriate response.


Our ability to comprehend different images, signs, words, and other such things becomes more difficult the more we drink.


Since many of your body’s functions are impaired from alcohol, they make it harder to properly gauge the location of vehicles on the road, intersections, crosswalks, and so on.

There can be serious consequences if you are stopped by the police for erratic driving, like weaving back and forth, or cause an accident involving other motorists. In addition, if you injure another person, whether they are in your vehicle or during an accident, you could potentially open yourself up to a personal injury lawsuit.

Should they die from the injuries you caused, not only could you be sued in civil court by the person’s family, but also be charged with manslaughter by the Crown. Driving while impaired or drunk is never worth risking your life and the lives of others.

If you have been charged with impaired or drunk driving, please feel free to contact me, Toronto criminal defence lawyer, Jeff Hershberg at 416-428-7360 now to schedule a consultation.