In previous chapters, we have discovered that there is a problem with driving under the influence of alcohol. We have discussed the magnitude of the problem, and we have looked at the reasons that the problem exists. But for the analysis of drunk driving to be complete, it is necessary to take a detailed look at exactly what alcohol does to make driving so dangerous.
The drug in alcoholic beverages is ethyl alcohol, or ethanol. This substance is a sedative drug. It slows down the operation of the nervous system. In the following sections you will find out the way in which alcohol enters the body, the way it affects the organs and why it is a danger to drivers, the means of measuring alcohol in the body, and the way in which alcohol is eliminated from the body. Since this is our personal favorite topic, the lesson culminates in an interactive java applet which allows you to explore for yourself the effects of alcohol on the body.