As a driver in Alabama, you know the state cracks down on drivers to maintain the safety of the road for all. Driving under the influence can net you with tough penalties whether it is a first offense or not.

To understand why DUI infractions get treated so severely, it is important to understand what makes DUI driving so risky. To do this, you must understand how alcohol affects your ability to drive in the first place.

Alcohol’s impact on your vision

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration discusses driving while under the influence. They go into detail about the potential effects that alcohol can have on your system.

First, it affects your vision. Your sight is the most important sense when it comes to driving. Alcohol may cause double vision and blurred vision. It may also slow your ability to focus. You cannot determine an object’s distance or relation to your car when drunk. Not only that, but your vision suffers at relatively low BAC levels. You may experience blurring as low as .02 percent BAC.

How judgment and reaction times change

Your judgment gets impaired, too. The area of your brain that controls your ability to judge situations suffers from impact after imbibing alcohol. The more you drink, the more heavily you can feel this impact.

Related to that, alcohol impairs your reaction time. It slows your ability to process what you see. Your cognitive reflexes slow down and you cannot process information as fast. You may also feel sleepy, which can lead to dozing at the wheel.

Finally, your ability to differentiate between colors may also suffer. This means you may struggle with traffic signs, roadway marks and signals.