Willens Law Offices Articles Drunk Driving Among Older Adults in Illinois

Drunk Driving Among Older Adults in Illinois

By Matthew Willens  Aug. 24, 2015 3:33p

Driving under the influence of alcohol caused over 300 deaths in 2013 alone, according to statistics from the Illinois DUI Fact Book.

While a lot has been said about the increasing prevalence of drunk driving among young drivers, alcohol impaired driving by older drivers is often underestimated.

Impaired Driving among U.S. Adults

Around four out of every 10 U.S. adults aging 65 years or more consume alcohol, according to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health conducted in 2010. This is an alarming statistic, especially because adult drivers are more likely than their younger counterparts to be involved in road accidents. As we age, the ability of our bodies to process alcohol decreases.

Older Persons Take Longer to Process Alcohol

Human bodies metabolize alcohol in a different way than they process other drinks or foods. Unlike other drinks, alcohol is absorbed into the bloodstream and then carried through the blood to almost all parts of the body. Depending on the age and health condition, a normal person may take around an hour to process alcohol. However, an individual with a relatively weak liver may fail to process alcohol at a normal rate. Owing the fact that older bodies contain less water, they may take longer than younger bodies to process the same amount of alcohol.

Consuming Alcohol while on Medication

The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism warns that alcohol interaction with medications, whether prescription or over-the-counter, could trigger serious health hazards. Unfortunately, nine out of every 10 U.S. adults 65 and older consume at least one prescription medication, while more than six out of every 10 older people take at least three medicines. Some of these drugs could trigger more severe side effects than the others, for instance, some may increase the immediate effects of alcohol consumption.

Why Some Older Adults May Become Addicted to Alcohol

Older people often feel lonely, neglected, suffer pain or sleep problems, and some live with unhappy memories. This is why they are sometimes prone to alcohol addiction, says the National Institutes of Health. However, some people may simply continue their drinking habit, without understanding that their metabolic system is no longer fit enough to process alcohol.

Effects of Alcohol Addiction

In addition to the immediate effects, the long-term effects of alcohol could be dangerous and may cause serious heart and liver problems. Other health risks include muscle damage, bone damage, immune system disorders, and even cancer. Older adults should keep an eye on their alcohol consumption habit. If they notice any signs of alcohol dependence, such as, irresistible urge to break self-imposed limits, they should seek professional help immediately.

It is important to understand that driving even after a single drink can increase the risk of getting involved in a road accident. If you suffer injury or damages due to a drunk driver contact a car accident attorney Chicago Willens to learn more about your legal rights as a personal injury victim.

Call (312) 957-4166 to speak with a top-rated personal injury attorney at Willens Law Offices, free of charge.

Other Recent Articles

Car Accident Settlement Or Lawsuit? Questions To Consider

After an injurious vehicle accident, you may be thinking about filing a lawsuit against the at-fault person instead of just settling with his/her insurance company. But most accident cases are better ...
More Articles »

Electrical Burn Injuries Involving Children - Chicago Attorney

Electrical burn injuries occur when electric current passes through body. These burns are often serious and can damage tissue or organs, or may simply just burn the skin. The most common causes of ...
More Articles »

Settling a Chicago Personal Injury Claim Out of Court

Accidents happen, and the only thing we can do is do our best to control how we react when we are involved in one. From a legal standpoint, there are two ways to resolving an accident claim: go to ...
More Articles »
(312) 957-4166
30 N LaSalle St #3450
Chicago, IL 60602

Office Hours:
Sunday 24hr-
Monday 24hr-
Tuesday 24hr-
Wednesday 24hr-
Thursday 24hr-
Friday 24hr-
Saturday 24hr-

Main Website:
Visit Website
Contact our office by email or phone instantly by clicking the options below: