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The Effect of Aging on Driving Under the Influence

Posted by Steve Karimi | Jul 23, 2018 | 0 Comments

"I can't hold my alcohol like I used to." It's a common refrain. Many use the phrase when they have transitioned away from a carefree lifestyle. However, it's more than just an opinion for some. As you age, you become less responsive behind the wheel and become more susceptible to the effects of drugs or alcohol. While everyone ages differently, there is no doubt that at some point your driving skills will become less sharp and your ability to metabolize alcohol will drop.

There is no way to determine the exact age at which your driving skills might diminish, or your ability to metabolize alcohol might weaken. However, studies have been able to identify some patterns. According to research by Newsweek, 18% of everyone killed in fatal car accidents in 2015 were older adults. That amounts to 6,800 people in one year. The same year, more than 250,000 older adult drivers were seriously injured in auto accidents. The study ultimately concluded that adults age 70-74 have an increased risk of fatal car accidents.

Aging, Alcohol, and Driving

The majority of these accidents did not involve alcohol. However, a number of issues associated with aging can affect the way you drive. What's more, these same issues can be exacerbated when combined with the consumption of alcohol. Common aging factors that can affect your driving ability may include:

  • Arthritis
  • Vision
  • Hearing
  • Reaction Time
  • Mental Processing

In addition to these aging factors, older adults also metabolize alcohol more slowly. According to the National Institute of Health, this is due to older adults having less water in their body. The slower metabolization means that same glass of wine you had ten years ago will have more effect on you today. Your blood alcohol concentration will rise as you drink, due to your earlier drinks not metabolizing as quickly as they used to.

It's also important to be aware of medication you might be taking. It's no secret that older people frequently take more medication, and many of those drugs can lead to a loss of motor skills when combined with alcohol.

Seattle Washington DUI Attorneys

It's possible that after having the same drink after a day of hard work for most of your adult life, you find yourself pulled over for a DUI. Your ability to metabolize alcohol wouldn't drop overnight, and you might not notice it steadily dropping over the years. Regardless of the circumstances, if you've been charged with a DUI in the Seattle area you have a constitutional right to defend yourself. Steve Karimi is a former prosecutor that has focused his law practice on defending the constitutional rights of those accused of a crime. The Law Offices of Steve Karimi are ready to help you build the best defense possible. Steve Karimi is experienced in reviewing a case to determine that law enforcement didn't abuse their authority during the arrest. To discuss the facts of your case, contact the Law Offices of Steve Karimi to set up a free consultation.

About the Author

Steve Karimi

Steve Karimi attended Pepperdine University School of Law. After graduation he worked as a prosecutor in Seattle where he gained valuable insight to the criminal justice system. Attorney Karimi uses his experiences as a prosecutor everyday only now he fights for the justice of those accused.


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