Study: Older people who drink reach impairment faster

Older drivers may experience problems with sobriety after consuming just one alcoholic drink.

As most people in Scottsdale are aware, the state of Arizona has a very low tolerance of people who decide to drive after consuming alcohol. According to the Verde Independent, Arizona holds the record for being the toughest state in the U.S. Drivers can be charged with drunk driving even if they have not reached the .08 legal limit if it can be shown that they are impaired.

Penalties for drunk driving include a 10-day mandatory sentence in a county jail for a first conviction which increases to 90 days upon a second conviction. Those arrested for a third DUI will face a felony charge.

Lower impairment levels

Research conducted in the past year shows that older drivers can become impaired faster than younger drivers. CBS News stated that the study consisted of drivers who ranged in age from 70 years old to 25. Half of the 72 participants were over the age of 55 and all of the participants were deemed to be in good health. The older drivers showed decreased driving skills on a simulated driving test after consuming alcohol. The drinks did not raise anyone's blood alcohol content over the legal limit and only one beverage was consumed.

The question raised was whether or not, small amounts of alcohol in older drivers impair them to operate a car to the slightest degree, and unfortunately, this study was not able to draw a specific conclusion.

Consumption and age

As people age, it is important for them to remember that their metabolism starts to slow down. This is often why older people tend to gain more weight if they eat large amounts of food but it also affects the breakdown of alcohol in their system. The National Institutes of Health states that the older people grow, the less tolerance their body has for alcohol. The alcohol will not only breakdown slower, due to less water in the body, but it will also show a higher BAC. Older drinkers may find that they cannot hold their liquor as well, and struggle with impairment issues after just one alcoholic drink.

As a result, older people in Scottsdale could find themselves facing an unexpected charge of drunk driving. This can lead to loss income, thousands of dollars in court costs and the potential of having to go through treatment or sit in a jail cell. For those reasons, it may be beneficial to meet with an experienced drunk driving attorney.

Keywords: drunk driving, arrest, penalty