September 13, 2013

News we knew: Alcohol changes views of driving drunk

Here's something researchers could have save a lot of time and money on discovering if they'd only asked one of us: People who believe it's wrong to get behind the wheel while drunk change their minds after actually becoming intoxicated.

Researchers from the University of Missouri analyzed 82 young adults, comparing their attitudes and willingness to drive drunk on two separate occasions: when they were sober and after drinking moderate amounts of alcohol.

The magnitude of the disparity startled study author Denis McCarthy, according to a report by 

“We all probably know people who make good decisions about lots of things when they're sober, but put four or five beers in them and they make bad ones. So that part wasn't surprising,” McCarthy said. “I was surprised, however, that it was such a big effect over and above their sober beliefs.”

Funded by the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, the study was published online Sept. 12 in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research.

About one-third of all fatal vehicle crashes in the United States each year involve an alcohol-impaired driver, the health.usnews report stated. In 2010, that translated to more than 10,000 preventable alcohol-related traffic deaths, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.


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