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The Dangers of Drinking While Riding a Motorcycle?

The Dangers of Drinking While Riding a Motorcycle?

Drinking alcohol and riding a motorcycle is a fatal combination that should be avoided at all costs. If you are riding a motorcycle while drunk, the possibility of ending up in a motorcycle crash is very high. Riding a motorcycle safely requires decent skills and experience. You have to stay alert and have all your senses active to be aware of any incoming dangers. Consuming alcohol reduces your cognitive capability, judgment, and responsiveness. Read this article to learn the dangers of drinking while riding a motorcycle.

1. Can You Drink While Riding a Motorcycle?

No, you cannot drink and ride a motorcycle as it risks the safety of everybody on the road.

1.1 Statistics

The situation has worsened in the U.S. as the daily number of deaths has reached an average of 32 fatalities, meaning that every 45 minutes, a rider dies in an accident due to drunk driving. Of the 5,268 people that died in motorcycle crashes in 2020, 27% (1,436) were riding under the influence. In DWI (Driving While Influenced or Impaired) cases, motorcycles were most involved in these kinds of accidents than any other type of vehicle. Motorcycle fatalities due to riding under the influence have increased in recent years.

1.2 What is the BAC Limit in the U.S.?

Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) is the amount of alcohol in the blood. In the U.S., riders are only allowed to ride a motorcycle if they have an alcohol concentration below 0.08% in their blood. However, the penalties imposed on riders guilty of being drunk while on the road differ between U.S. states. In states like Georgia, Tennessee, and Arizona, the first time you are found guilty of riding while drunk could result in jail time. Meanwhile, in states like Wisconsin, you will be issued a warning if you are a first-time offender.

2. The Effects of Alcohol on Motorcycle Riding

Even though there is no penalty for riders with a BAC below 0.08%, it is best to avoid drinking alcohol to ensure road safety. Even drinking a small amount of alcohol can affect your senses, responsiveness, brain functions, and muscle coordination. Also, if you drink alcohol on an empty stomach, it will negatively affect your health and highly impairs your brain function.

BAC The Effects of Alcohol on Motorcycle Riding
0.02% Vision becomes blurred
Unable to multitask
0.05% Impaired senses
Reduced responsive time
Reduced muscle coordination
Difficulty handling and steering
Cannot predict the flow of traffic
Difficulty paying attention
0.08% Difficulty concentrating
Impaired senses
Difficulty processing information
Reduced cognitive capability
Short-term memory loss
Loss of control
0.10% Difficulty staying in lane
Cannot maintain a safe distance
Cannot control speed and brake on time
0.15% Loss of control
Cannot think and function properly
Impaired vision
Loss of hearing
Cannot process information

3. How to Prevent Motorcycle Accidents Due to Alcohol Consumption

3.1 Improving Motorcycle Laws

Improving motorcycle laws by implementing restrictions could help lower casualties due to drunk driving. Stricter penalties implemented in every state may discourage motorcyclists from riding while drunk.

3.2 Do Not Ride If You Are Drunk

If you get drunk at a celebration or party, do not ride a motorcycle back home. Sleepover at a friend’s home and ride only when you are sober. Otherwise, you can book a cab if you have somewhere important you need to be.

3.3 Do Not Ride at Night

Riding while drunk at night is more dangerous than usual due to the lack of visibility and the higher risk of getting into an accident. Research has revealed that riders with a BAC level of more than 0.08% were three times more likely to get in an accident during the daytime.

3.4 Discouraging Alcohol at Motorcycle Rallies, Events, and Shows

Organizers of motorcycle rallies, events, and shows can help discourage alcohol consumption by not having stands or businesses that serve alcohol and spreading awareness of the dangers of riding while drunk.

3.5 Installing Ignition Interlock Device

Installing Ignition Interlock Device
Photo Credit: Road Guard Interlock

Most states promote the installation of ignition interlock devices that will not allow the motorcycle to turn on if the rider is under the influence. The ignition interlock is a breath-test device that checks a rider’s BAC. This device is strongly recommended by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) as a preventive measure to lower the frequency of alcohol-related motorcycle crashes and fatalities.

How it Works

The ignition interlock device is connected to the ignition system. Riders have to blow into the device to get their BAC checked. If the BAC is below the pre-programmed limit, the ignition will start and turn on the motorcycle.

4. Can Motorcycle Clubs Help Discourage Drinking?

Motorcycle clubs play a huge role in discouraging drinking and reducing alcohol-related deaths. Most motorcycle clubs have slogans that say: “Booze and bikes do not mix.”

Motorcycle clubs may have rules that forbid members from drinking alcohol. Penalties, such as imposing a fine or canceling one’s membership, can discourage riders from getting drunk.

5. How Much Alcohol You Can Drink and Ride a Motorcycle Safely

There is no definite answer to this question as it depends on several factors, including the size, weight, and the last time you had food. As already mentioned, the permissible amount of alcohol is 0.08 g per deciliter of blood (0.08 g/dL) in most U.S. states.

6. Takeaway

Drinking alcohol can put you and the safety of others at risk. Avoid drinking if you are a regular motorcycle rider and never ride until you are sober. Riding a motorcycle while impaired has caused the most motorcycle crashes and deaths in the U.S. If you want to make riding safer for yourself and others, discourage riding while under the influence.

Motorcycle riding can be fun, and pleasurable, and have a positive impact on your physical and mental health. If you want to reduce stress, go on a motorcycle tour. However, before going on a motorcycle tour, make sure your ride is comfortable and safe. To ensure an ideal touring experience, Viking Bags has several motorcycle parts available, including sissy bars, fairings, crash bars, backrests, handlebars, and seats. To make your touring experience memorable, you can also carry useful stuff with you by installing saddlebags, backpacks, and tank bags.

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