The Importance of Riding Unimpaired by Alcohol or Other Drugs


Theory: Alcohol And Motorcycles Are Incompatible

  • At a BAC* of 0.01 to 0.04%, judgment begins to lessen, the drinker is less critical of their own actions, reaction time is slowed, and indications of mental relaxation may appear.
  • At a BAC of 0.05 to 0.07%, judgment is not sound, thinking and reasoning powers are not clear, and the ability to perform complex skills is lessened.
  • At a BAC of 0.08% or above, judgment and reasoning powers are severely hampered, and the individual cannot complete common simple tasks without error.

Proof: Statistics From Recent Studies

(by NHTSA, Florida, Kentucky, and Australia)

  • Having any alcohol in one's body increases the chance of crashing by five times.
  • Having a BAC greater than 0.05% increases the risk of crashing about forty-fold.
  • 46 percent of all motorcyclists killed in crashes were using alcohol.
  • One fourth of all fatal alcohol-related motorcycle crashes involve motorcyclists running off the road, overturning, or falling from the motorcycle rather than striking another object.

Explanation: Alcohol Affects Your Ability To "SEE" 

SEESM is the acronym for MSF's strategy to help motorcycle riders maintain a safety margin as well as remain ready and able to respond properly to traffic situations. SEE stands for:

  • Search for hazards that might lead to trouble.
  • Evaluate how the hazards might interact to create risk; prioritize multiple hazards to deal with one at a time.
  • Execute an action to maintain a margin of safety.

Alcohol affects these three human elements of safe motorcycle operation by impairing your vision (Search), judgment/decision-making ability (Evaluate), and coordination/reaction time (Execute).

Recommendation: Plan Ahead  

  • Riders should never mix alcohol with riding. Even low, legal limits of BAC increase your risk while riding a
  • Riders who are away from home and decide to drink should either (1) wait until their BAC has returned to zero before riding, even if it means staying overnight, or (2) leave the motorcycle in a secure location and find alternate transportation home.

*BAC = Blood Alcohol Concentration

Information provided by: Motorcycle Safety Foundation