After a few drinks, as our blood alcohol concentration begins to rise, our bodies undergo a series of changes. As alcohol is a depressant, these changes slow our reflexes, thought process and speech. Some studies suggest that the effect alcohol has on our speech is apparent to even the novice listener. Even though we may feel completely sober and clear as a bell when communicating while intoxicated, we’re probably not fooling anyone. Drunk talk is in fact, a real thing. In the event you are stopped for suspicion of DUI, it may be best to avoid saying anything.
The notion that there is “drunk talk” has led some researchers to study the effects that alcohol has on speech and acoustics. Surprisingly enough, researchers have found that under intoxication, speech is slower, more prone to errors and lower in overall amplitude. Taking different speech patterns into account, when studied, sentences spoken by those intoxicated were immediately identified.
Apparently, groups of listeners were able to correctly discern sentences spoken by intoxicated individuals from those spoken by sober individuals. In further analysis, acoustic-phonetic measurements showed significant and consistent changes in articulation between the two groups.
Clear speech requires fine motor control and specific timing. Unfortunately, when intoxicated, these skills are all but lost. An increasing level of intoxication can reduce an individual’s ability to control the coordination of their speech articulation, respiration, phonation and articulation of consonants. These effects can be pretty obvious to those trained to spot them.
In the event you are stopped for suspicion of DUI, it may be in your best interests to stay tightlipped. Even if you feel completely fine and believe you can communicate clearly, if the risk of drunk talk is there, it may be best to say nothing. If you are facing a DUI charge, speaking to an experienced defense attorney may help.