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Journal Article


Marczinski CA, Mearns CL. Exp. Clin. Psychopharmacol. 2019; ePub(ePub): ePub.


Department of Psychological Science.


(Copyright © 2019, American Psychological Association)






The acute administration of alcohol reliably impairs the ability to balance when standing. The standardized field sobriety test uses alcohol-induced impairment of body stability to indicate probable alcohol intoxication. Given that body sway is used in the detection of alcohol impairment and intoxication, it is surprising that little research with humans has incorporated new technology that provides automated neuromuscular control assessment. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to examine the dose response to the acute effects of alcohol below and at the legal limit for driving in the United States on balance impairments, as measured by the Biosway Portable Balance System (Biodex Medical Systems, Inc.). Fourteen social drinkers attended 3 separate sessions during which they received alcohol (0.0, 0.3, and 0.6 g/kg alcohol). Body sway with eyes open and eyes closed was assessed at 45 min after dose administration when breath alcohol concentration was peaking for both active alcohol doses (.04g% and.08g%). The results indicated that body sway was significantly increased in the 0.6 g/kg alcohol conditions when compared with the placebo and 0.3 g/kg alcohol conditions. Body sway was not significantly elevated in the 0.3 g/kg alcohol condition compared with placebo. The results from this study suggest that this new technology may be of interest to alcohol researchers and the police as a more precise assessment of balance. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved).

Language: en


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