A new research work published in the Journal of Applied Cognitive Psychology said that even one drink can make people blind drunk.
The lead author of the study, Dr. Seema Clifasefi from the University of Washington reported that subjects when mildly intoxicated, showed to compromise their power of noticing an unusual object when concentrating on another task.
The phenomenon, known as 'Inattentional blindness' - where unexpected, yet salient objects appear in the visual fields but fail to be detected while subjects are focused on another task- has been demonstrated under various conditions, but this is the first instance to show that these visual errors become even more likely under the influence of alcohol.
Although the research did not directly test driving aptitude, the implications for driving could be serious. 'We rely on our ability to perceive a multitude of information when we drive (speed limit, road signs, other cars, etc.) If even a mild dose of alcohol compromises our ability to take in some of this information, in other words, limits our attention span, then it seems likely that our driving ability may also be compromised.' Says study lead author Dr. Seema Clifasefi of the University of Washington.
'If you've had one drink, you may be so focused on paying attention to your speed so as not to get pulled over, that you completely miss seeing the pedestrian that walks directly in front of your car.'