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Massachusetts Drivers Warned That Perception of Alcohol Recovery Does Not Match Science

We often represent victims of collisions which are the result of drunk driving. In a recent study undertaken by Dr. Peter J. Snyder at Lifespan, an organization associated with Brown University Medical School in Rhode Island, it was shown that young drivers often “feel” that they are recovering or recovered from intoxication, however, objective test results show that that “feeling” is a “poor indicator of sobriety and the ability to operate a motor vehicle.”

The study tested students over an eight (8) hour period carefully monitoring their intoxication levels and testing their cognitive skills. Dr. Snyder and his colleagues found that “As people become increasingly drunk, we see a very dramatic increase in these errors on the test, and the recovery of the underlying cognitive impairments that lead to these errors is slower, and more closely tied to the actual blood alcohol concentration, than the more rapid reduction in participants’ subjective feeling of drunkenness.” Considering that drinking and driving causes over 11,000 deaths per year and that 30% of Americans will be involved in an alcohol related crash in their lives, it is critical that we teach our young drivers, and remind our older ones, that their perception of having “recovered” from imbibing, is not scientifically accurate.