Alcohol and Driving Skills

A low blood alcohol content (BAC) led to a slight improvement in driving skills by experimental subjects, according to researchers at Yale University.

Research participants tried to “drive” safely using a driving simulator. Their driving skills were tested with no blood alcohol content, at .04 BAC, at .08 (the legal limit for driving), and at .10.

Although there was a slight improvement in driving ability at the lowest BAC level (.04), abilities decreased as BAC increased above that level. The investigators speculate that, at the lower BAC level, people were aware that they were mildly impaired and compensated for the effects of the alcohol by trying harder to be “good drivers.”

There are many ways to avoid driving while impaired by alcohol. One of the most popular is the use of a designated driver.


  • Katz, Abram. Yale study pinpoints alcohol reactions. The Middleton Press, November 26, 2004.


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Filed Under: Drinking and Driving