ATTENTION FLORIDA DRIVERS! If you’re 55 or over, it may be too dangerous for you to drive if you’ve had just one single alcoholic drink.
In a new study from the University of Florida, Psychologists Sara Jo Nixon and Alfredo Sklar say older drivers are too dangerous to get behind the wheel after drinking just one alcoholic beverage. “No one’s ever looked at the combination of aging drivers and alcohol,” Sklar said recently.
Though many studies show the disastrous effects of heavy drinking and driving, the two researchers say there is scant information available regarding the effects of one drink and then driving — which is more common in the United States, especially as more and more baby-boomers reach retirement age.
The pair devised a driving test along a 3-mile stretch of road and tested two groups of people; those 55 and older and those under 50. Several factors were tested as well as overall driving ability. Monitors were used to record the resulting driving patterns, reaction time, etc.
They found that older drivers scored significantly worse after taking a single drink than they did when completely sober, and significantly worse than their younger counterparts who similarly ingested one single drink.
Expecting to find both groups of drivers impaired after just one drink, Nixon and Sklar were surprised to discover that younger drivers appeared to be unaffected by drinking alcoholic beverages in moderate amounts.
I admit it, I’m over 55 (and not ready for retirement!)… but after reading about their study I realized that it’s been years since I have had even one drink before driving. After all, I’m a criminal defense lawyer, a criminal defense WARRIOR! Over the years I have fought fiercely for hundreds of people who were charged with DUI; many of whom were actually well within the legal limit!
Although I’ve gotten every one of those latter DUI cases dismissed, my DUI clients had to endure the embarrassment of being pulled over and questioned by police, coerced to blow into a Breathalyzer device, intimidated into performing the roadside exercises, humiliated by being arrested and dragged off to jail and after having to hire ME to fight for their rights, they were compelled to appear in court 2-3 times before the case was finally dismissed… And that includes my DUI clients who were all below the legal limit of .08 BrAC.
I’m sure you already know that even if you’re SOBER it can be an ordeal just to defend yourself against being wrongfully charged with DUI.
For me, if I know I’m going to drive, having even just one drink is just not worth the anxiety and effort that follows.
If you’re 55 or older, you may be wise to… THINK BEFORE YOU DRINK!
Richard G. Salzman is a Hollywood DUI defense lawyer, defending your rights since 1986.