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Older adults are more susceptible to the effects of alcohol

The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism reports that less than half of senior citizens use alcohol. However, alcohol can present new problems as people age.

Most senior citizens do not drink and drive, but the harsh truth is that alcohol affects older adults much differently than they might realize. Even healthy senior citizens need to be more careful about driving after drinking.

How aging affects tolerance

Aging reduces the body’s tolerance to alcohol. Muscle mass is different, the liver doesn’t process alcohol as well and drinkers are more likely to feel the effects of alcohol much quicker than they did when they were younger. In addition, certain medications can make the effects of alcohol much more evident. Even aspirin and acetaminophen can have bad interactions with alcohol, but stronger prescription medications can cause even more serious interactions. 

How alcohol affects senior driving

Many older adults do not realize the effect alcohol has on their driving. A 2009 study from the University of Florida found that adults over the age of 50 took 5 seconds longer to complete a special test. Although 5 seconds does not seem like a big deal, when someone is going 60 miles per hour, he or she travels 88 feet in just 5 seconds. That slower reaction could mean the difference between life and death. 

If you are charged with a DUI 

A DUI in Oklahoma has serious consequences, even for first-timers. Older adults may have their driver’s license and professional license suspended. They may spend time in jail and have to pay large fines once they are released. A DUI conviction goes on their record and stays with them, even if they move out of Oklahoma. 

Anyone who has been arrested for DUI should seek legal counsel to find the best possible solution. An attorney can help protect rights and minimize the negative outcomes for the situation. 

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