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Warning About Driving When Hung Over

Something to consider the morning after that holiday party! Driving with a hangover is just as dangerous as driving under the influence of alcohol, according to new research.

Danger of drinking when hung overIf suffering from a hangover isn’t awful enough, now international studies show that the effects of intoxication last longer than measurable blood alcohol concentration (BAC) which means even after sobering up driving performance is likely to be impaired.

International research presented today at the Australasian Professional Society on Alcohol and other Drugs (APSAD) 2013 Conference suggests that driving in a hung- over state should be avoided.

In a Dutch study, healthy volunteers drove on a simulated highway the night after a drinking session averaging about 10 alcoholic drinks. Compared to the same tests after a night of not drinking, the results showed a hangover could significantly increase the number of lapses in attention and driving course deviations or weaving. The tests were performed after the participants’ BAC had returned to zero.

“The magnitude of driving impairment is higher than that observed with BAC of 0.05%, which is the legal limit for driving in many countries, Utrecht University’s Dr Joris Verster said.

In a smaller UK study, participants did 20-minutes of simulated driving in an urban setting with hazards such as pedestrians. Significant increases in speed variability, reaction time, driving errors and deviation from driving position were recorded when the participants were hung-over.

by Amanda Davey - 6 Minutes