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11. Driving Under the Influence

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Drinking and Gender

Unfortunately, alcohol isn't "politically correct" when it comes to treating men and women equally. See how drinking affects you, based on whether you're male or female.

Ability to Dilute AlcoholBecause females have less body water (by weight percentage), they are unable to dilute alcohol as much as males, thus INCREASING the intoxication effect on women, with the same given amount of alcohol. In other words, females tend to get drunk faster, and on less alcohol, than males.

Women: Average Total Body Water: 52%

Men: Average Total Body Water: 61%

Ability to Metabolize Alcohol

Dehydrogenase converts alcohol molecules into acetaldehyde, an even more toxic molecule, which is then quickly converted into acetate and other molecules that are easily utilized by our cells. Thus, a potentially dangerous molecule is converted, through alcohol dehydrogenase, into a mere foodstuff.

Women:

Have a smaller quantity of dehydrogenase, an enzyme that breaks down alcohol. Because females lack, or have much less, of this enzyme, they once again tend to get more alcohol to the brain, thus getting drunker, quicker.

Men:

Have a larger quantity of dehydrogenase, which allows them to break down the alcohol they take in more quickly.

Hormonal Effects on Alcohol

Women:

Premenstrual hormonal changes cause intoxication to set in faster during the days right before a woman gets her period. Alcohol increases estrogen levels. Birth control pills or other medicine with estrogen increase intoxication.

Men:

Their susceptibility to getting drunk does not fluctuate dramatically at certain times of the month. Alcohol also increases estrogen levels in men. Chronic alcoholism has been associated with loss of body hair and muscle mass, development of swollen breasts and shrunken testicles, and impotence.


Lesson Summary


  

Lesson 11 Quiz


You will now answer 5 questions to test what you learned during this lesson. You must answer all questions correctly to receive completion credit for this lesson. You may answer the questions as many times as necessary to get them right.

You should review the lesson material if you don't do well on the quiz.

  1. After completing all 11 lessons and then passing the final test, your certificate of completion of driver education will be:


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  2. BAC stands for:


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  3. If you are under 21, the zero tolerance policy for drinking and driving will revoke your license even if your BAC is as low as what percent?


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  4. Alcohol is a:


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  5. Designated Drivers:


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