The effects of alcoholic beverages on the central nervous system (CNS) are well-recognized by physicians, psychologists, social scientists and laypersons alike. The purpose of this paper is twofold: (1) to summarize past research findings on these effects as related to impairment of driving ability and (2) to project future research needs in this area. To understand the complex effects of alcohol on CNS function attention must be given to the dose-response curve relating the blood alcohol level (BAL) and the magnitude of its effects, the time course of these effects and modifying factors such as individual susceptibility due to environmental or genetic variables. The extent and pattern of previous drinking experiences should be examined because tolerance develops to some if not all pharmacological effects of alcohol. Driving a motor vehicle is a complex task involving perception, attention, psychomotor skills and judgment. Important information regarding impairment of driving ability by alcohol can be obtained through both study of the effects of alcohol on the integrated task of driving and study of the effects of alcohol on individual components of the task.

  • Availability:
  • Corporate Authors:

    Alcohol Research Documentation, Incorporated

    P.O. Box 969
    Piscataway, NJ  United States  08854
  • Authors:
    • Mitchell, M C
  • Publication Date: 1985-7

Media Info

  • Features: References;
  • Pagination: p. 109-116
  • Serial:

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00620529
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
  • Report/Paper Numbers: Supplement No. 10, HS-041 169, HS-041 170
  • Files: HSL, USDOT
  • Created Date: Mar 31 1992 12:00AM