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Alcohol can disrupt brain functions involving coordination

Summertime is a time when people in Florida get together for celebrations, whether they are an informal event, such as a family barbecue, or a formal event, such as a wedding. When alcohol is served at these events, as is often the case, most people of legal drinking age may not think twice about having a drink or two. However, some people will use these events as an excuse to become intoxicated. This situation is made all the more serious if these intoxicated drivers cause a drunk driving accident that injures or kills another person.

A study of 14 individuals explored why it is so hard to maintain one's coordination while intoxicated. According to the study, alcohol disrupts the link between the muscle control and visual parts of the drinker's brain.

The study scanned the brains of the otherwise healthy social drinkers with an MRI both when the drivers were not drunk and again when they were. The study found that when drunk, the link between the movement-planning and vision parts of the participant's brains were weaker than when they were sober, which negatively affected hand-eye coordination.

This is an important finding, because the act of driving necessitates a strong sense of hand-eye coordination. When drunk, a person moves more slowly and their movements lack accuracy. If a drunk driver cannot react quickly enough to driving conditions, it could lead to an accident that could prove to be fatal. When this happens, victims of drunk driving accidents may want to consult their attorneys to determine how best to hold the drunk driver responsible for their actions.

Source: Live Science, "Beer Goggles: How Alcohol Disrupts the Brain," Tanya Lewis, March 19, 2013

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