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HHS HealthBeat (April 9, 2014)

How little alcohol

From the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, I’m Ira Dreyfuss with HHS HealthBeat.

Even staying below the legal limit on alcohol might still affect a person’s driving – especially if the person is a senior. A study of older people indicates that even one drink might affect driving.

Researcher Sara Jo Nixon of the University of Florida had 36 25-to-36-year-olds and 36 55-to-70-year-olds take the amount of alcohol in a drink or two, and tested them on a driving simulator.

“Older drivers were jerkier in the way that they handled the steering wheel, and they also had a harder time sustaining their speed without varying much.”

And Nixon warns that younger drivers should not assume they’re safely protected by their relative youth.

The study in the journal Psychopharmacology was supported by the National Institutes of Health.

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HHS HealthBeat is a production of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. I’m Ira Dreyfuss.

Last revised: April 9, 2014