Facts You Should Know about Alcohol

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  1. A person’s judgment is the first ability impaired by drinking alcohol.
  2. Alcohol is a depressant, not a stimulant. It slows normal reflexes, interferes with judgment, reduces alertness, and impairs vision.
  3. If you drive after drinking, the probability of a crash increases with each drink.
  4. Motor vehicle crashes involving young people who have been drinking occur at lower average blood alcohol levels than do those of middle-aged or older drivers.
  5. The type of alcohol consumed makes no difference in the effect of alcohol on the physical and mental changes that take place within the body when alcohol is consumed. It’s the amount of alcohol which enters the body that counts. The same amount of alcohol is present in 12 ounces of beer as in a single shot (1 1/2 ounce) of 80 proof alcohol or 4 ounces of wine.
  6. Alcohol affects a person differently at different times. Physical and emotional condition, other drugs, even the amount of food in the stomach causes alcohol to affect a person differently.
  7. After drinking there is nothing you can do but wait. Black coffee, fresh air, food, or a cold shower might wake you up, but they won’t sober you up. Alcohol is burned up by the liver and eliminated from the body through the kidneys and lungs. Only time will help.
  8. Alcohol is medically termed a drug and a depressant. The combined use of alcohol and other drugs may be more dangerous to health and to highway safety than the effects of either the alcohol or drugs alone.


As mentioned before, the effects of alcohol on driving depends on many different factors (food you’ve eaten or medication you’ve taken, mental state, degree of fatigue, strength of drinks). Therefore, it is difficult to know just how much you can drink before you drive It takes an average of one hour to cancel the effects of one drink. Therefore, it takes about four hours to cancel the intoxicating effects of four drinks. THE BEST POLICY IS TO NOT DRIVE IF YOU HAVE BEEN DRINKING.


When convicted of a DUI or Refusal, use of an ignition interlock device is required on any vehicle you operate. If you have been convicted of only one DUI or Refusal you will need to have the IID installed for a minimum of six (6) months. The chart below shows the periods of IID installation for a person with multiple convictions.

AS 28.35.030 (b) and/or AS 28.35.032 (g):

DUI/Refusal Convictions

Period of IID Installed

1st 6 months
2nd 12 months
3rd 18 months
4th 24 months
5th 30 months

You are responsible for IID installation and maintenance costs. It is also your responsibility to show proof of IID installation and financial responsibility (SR-22 insurance) when reinstating your driving privilege.


When you drink, the alcohol quickly reaches the blood stream from the stomach, and quickly begins to affect the functioning of the brain. It slows reactions, interferes with vision, and reduces your sense of responsibility. Judgment, hearing, speech, and balance are impaired in relation to the level of alcohol in the blood. At the same time, alcohol creates a false sense of confidence, and a feeling your driving is not affected. The fact is that every additional drink lowers your effectiveness behind the wheel. It also puts you in a higher risk category. If you drink and drive, you may lose your driving privileges, and worse yet, perhaps your life, or take someone else’s life. Think about it. It’s not worth it.


Alcohol use is a significant factor in fatal motor vehicle crashes in Alaska. Almost 45 percent of all traffic deaths each year involve alcohol. Each year, fellow Alaskans will die on the highway as a direct result of drinking and driving. It is known that other drugs, and especially the combination of alcohol and drugs, contribute to a significant number of motor vehicle crashes each year. For this reason, Alaska has strengthened its DUI (Driving Under the Influence) law.


— Judgement

— Inhibitions


— Vision

— Speech

— Balance


— Reaction

— Coordination


— Walking

— Standing


— Serious deterioration

in driving performance


— Unconscious

— Possible coma and on verge of death


There are other drugs or substances that also interfere with a person’s ability to drive safely. Here are a few things you should remember:

  1. When taking prescription medicine, ask your doctor about any possible side effects that relate to
  2. Drugs, including some allergy remedies and cold pills which you can buy without prescription may contain compounds that can affect your
  3. Amphetamines are used in stimulants and diet Overdosage of these, and other drugs like tranquilizers or sedatives, can make driving dangerous.
  4. Never drive after using illegal These are especially dangerous because there is usually no way to be certain of their strength or purity.
  5. Alaska law also forbids driving under the influence of “any controlled substance,” which includes narcotic and non-narcotic drugs, not just “illegal” The penalties for driving under the influence of a controlled substance are the same as outlined previously for driving under the influence of alcohol.
  6. Drugs have been shown to impair driving ability. Certain prescribed drugs can cause drowsiness and decreased The combination of other drugs and alcohol increases the effects of each individual drug. It has been estimated that at least 25 percent of the prescription drugs used today are capable of interacting with alcohol. Therefore, it is important for you to be cautious about drinking alcoholic beverages if you’re taking medication. Such combinations can be fatal, especially if you’re driving.