The important variables in evaluating effects of alcohol on driving
The mechanics of alcohol absorption, distribution and elimination are subject to a great degree of variability, depending on individual circumstances. Driving behavior, driver characteristics, and driving ability can also play a role in evaluating the effect alcohol has on driving ability, and the possibility of impairment.
Thus, the gathering of information, when possible, plays a key role in case evaluation. Each attorney has his or her own manner of collecting information.
From a toxicological standpoint, the following is recommended as information your lawyer should acquire:
- Exposure to chemicals in the workplace.
- Age when first started drinking.
- Frequency of alcohol use.
- Any diagnosis of alcoholism.
- Visual characteristics (glasses, near-sighted etc.).
- Diabetes; if so, when insulin was last used.
- Stomach or intestinal surgeries.
- Illness or injury.
- Under the care of a doctor or dentist.
- Prescription or non-prescription drugs used, time used and dose.
- Time last slept (date and amount of hours).
- Date and time of observed driving.
- Date and time of the start of drinking for that session.
- Time stopped drinking prior to the observation of driving.
- Amount of alcohol consumed during the drinking session.
- Type, size (ounces) and alcohol concentration of the drinks consumed.
- Times when the drinks were consumed.
- Use of alcohol within 1.5 hours prior to the observation of driving.
- Use of alcohol after driving, prior to officer arrival.
- Ingestion of food at or near the time of the drinking session.
- Type and amount of food consumed.
- Identity of the driver of the vehicle.
- Time started driving.
- Observed driving behavior by the officer.
- Length of time driving was observed by the officer.
- Mechanical problems with the car.
- Distractions in the car that may have caused the observed driving behavior.
- Familiarity with the road or route.
- Contradictions to the documented driving behavior.