Who Is Most Impacted by a Single Drink?


When asked to guess who is most likely to be negatively impacted by an alcoholic beverage, many answer that younger people, especially teens who are unused to drinking, would be the most likely to suffer negative consequences of low volume alcohol intake. In fact, adults over the age of 55 are the most impaired after a single glass of wine, mixed beverage or bottle of beer, according to the results of a new study discussed by the US Department of Health and Human Services, especially in their ability to drive.

Though the one alcoholic beverage did not raise any of the participants’ blood alcohol level above 0.08, the legal limit in the United States for driving, it was more than enough to significantly impair the driving capability of those who were between the ages of 55 and 70.

Alfredo Sklar was a co-author of the study and a doctoral candidate at the Center for Addiction Research and Education at the University of Florida College of Medicine. He said: “This study suggests that even low alcohol doses, producing alcohol levels below the current legal limit, can compromise some basic driving skills among older adults.”

No One Should Drink and Drive

Though the study results primarily focused on the effects of one alcoholic beverage on the ability of older people to drive, researchers want to emphasize that the results do not imply that it’s safe for those under the age of 55 to drink any amount and drive. No one under the age of 21 should drink at all and those over the age of 21 are recommended to avoid drinking any alcohol if they are going to be driving. The results of the study showed that those over the age of 55 were more impacted in their ability to drive after one drink and not that those under the age of 55 were not impacted at all.

Drugged Driving

Buzzed driving under the influence of alcohol is problematic and likely to cause accidents that can be deadly but so too is driving while under the influence of prescription medication, illicit substances, and even over-the-counter medications. All of these can impair driving ability and put the driver and others on the road in danger. Also, like driving under the influence of alcohol, the ongoing problem of drugged driving can be a clear indication that it is time to seek treatment for substance abuse.

Do you or does someone you love need help walking away from drugs and alcohol for good?  Here at Axis, we can help. Contact us today for more information about our personalized treatment programs.