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Drinking even a small amount of alcohol, like one pint of beer, can significantly impair our driving abilities. Researchers from the University of Sussex question the current legal limit.

Study participants drank a cocktail containing enough alcohol to keep them within the legal limit for driving. These doses were equivalent to one or two pints of beer, depending on the individual’s body mass index. Researchers then analyzed each participant’s sense of agency, or their sense of control over their actions, after they consumed the cocktail. 

The research team found that even this small amount of alcohol can increase one’s sense of agency, which leads to overconfidence in one’s driving abilities and potentially dangerous behavior.

Researchers say their findings suggest that current alcohol limits for driving are not safe and a change in the law is needed.


De Pirro, S., Lush, P., et al (2019, June 20). Effect of alcohol on the sense of agency in healthy humans. Addiction Biology. Retrieved from

Taylor Bennett

Taylor Bennett

Taylor Bennett is a staff writer at Thriveworks. She devotes herself to distributing important information about mental health and wellbeing, writing mental health news and self-improvement tips daily. Taylor received her bachelor’s degree in multimedia journalism, with minors in professional writing and leadership from Virginia Tech. She has published content on Thought Catalog, Odyssey, and The Traveling Parent.

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