Alcohol affects virtually every part of your body; however, the
affect on your brain and central nervous system are what make you
deadly behind the wheel of a car if you are intoxicated.
Alcohol is considered a depressant. Quite simply stated, it
increases the activity of inhibitor neurotransmitters and decreases the
activity of excitatory neurotransmitters. When the nerve cells in
the brain are ‘sluggish’ in communicating with the rest of your brain
and your body, the result is pronounced sluggish behavior on a large
- The first part of the brain to be affected is the Cerebral Cortex
which results in inhibition of thought processes, impairment of the
senses and an overall feeling of euphoria and self-confidence.
- The next part of the brain to be affected is the Limbic System and
the affect is pronounced emotional responses, such as excessive crying,
anger and withdrawal.
- The Cerebellum controls fine and gross motor movements and is the
next part of the brain to be affected. The affect is a general
loss of coordination and balance.
- Alcohol will then affect the Hypothalamus and the Pituitary Gland
thereby causing increased sexual urges, decreased sexual performance
and frequent urination.
- Finally the Medulla is affected and dangerous or fatal conditions
can result. The Medulla controls all of the bodily functions that
you do not normally think about, such as breathing, temperature,
consciousness and heart rate. Massive amounts of alcohol
affecting the Medulla will cause loss of consciousness and even
If an individual suffered a head injury that impaired any of the brain
systems mentioned above, it is unlikely that you would encourage them
to operate a motor vehicle. Shouldn’t the same principle apply if
you’ve voluntarily impaired these brain systems with alcohol?
Alcohol and driving do not mix! Period!