Alcohol induced seizures : Hi I am a fit 2... - Epilepsy Action

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Alcohol induced seizures


Hi I am a fit 27 year old but in the past year I have at least 2 full seizures and 2 blackouts. All are related to Alcohol and the worst seizure i had was on a night out when i stupidly took some laughing gas. My last blackout was after a social drink which i did not drink excessively, according to my girlfriend I got up and it was like someone just turned me off and I dropped like a plank backwards banging my head. I have been to the doctors and all my ECGs, BP and bloods where fine. I just would like to see if anybody has had the same experience and what the outcome was?

I have a very good job where I need to travel, nice car etc and I think if I take it to the next stage I.e seeing a neurologist all this will be taken away from me. I am having a 24hr ECG soon (which I am confidant will come back ok) after which I will get referred to the neurologist. Does this mean at that point I will be told I shouldn't drive?

Just a bit of advice or help would mean the world to me.

17 Replies

Hi, regret I have no sympathy for people that drink... Alcohol is one of the worst things for triggering seizures, as well as being stupid and taking laughing gas! I have had epilepsy for 40 years and don't drink! If you want to keep your job, keep your car, etc. I suggest you moderate your social plans! I haven't driven since the age of 17 due to having a seizure and having an accident whilst driving.

very simple really, epilepsy has different triggers and for you its alcohol. A 24hr ECG would be good to find out more information. I have ECG, MRIs, CATS, PETS, Ultra sound, Lumber puncture, bloods taken and the new one I am going to have is a Brain biopsy. See with me I am the only one in England with my form so I think you will be fine don't worry about your epilepsy people can live normal lives but go by Lesmals rules

Hi many thanks for your responses and I can ensure your Lesmal I am not seeking sympathy only advice from people in a similar situation. As it states above this is very new. I have stopped drinking in its entirety as I am aware this is the trigger. I just would like to see if anybody has had this type of trigger and what the outcome was and also if in my search of an answer at what stage do I get told I cannot drive.

Hidden in reply to JJHOWARD

Hi, you wanted the advice and we are only trying to help. Everyone is different and certain levels of alcohol affect us all differently, but if you wish your epilepsy to be controlled and understand more about it, then cut out the drinking and moderate your social plans. You are still young and might have a long life ahead with epilepsy... The more you drink and drive, the worse it will become.

Give your licence up immediately, not only are you putting your life at risk but other drivers. You are breaking the law and can be sent to prison for not giving up your licence. You are being irresponsible for the sake of being able to drive "your fancy car". End of.

I am quite unsure of your response Paul. I have been to A&E, I have been to the doctors and thus far have not been told I am a risk. I am mearly asking people who have had the same happen to them what I can expect. I have posted on this site for advice as this is all very new to me, i have not posted to be attacked. Rest assured if the medical professionals tell me to stop driving I will.

If you have had even one seizure you are expected to give up your licence regardless of if you have been diagnosed with epilepsy. Im not being mean. I had to give up mine and my fancy car after being diagnosed with epilepsy due to a callapse which was due to a brain tumour. Do you really want to be resposible for causing death due to you having seizures and driving. All i am saying is that you should give it some thought. Would you want someone causing death to you or one of your family because they wouldnt give their licence up. I hope you have a think about this.

Thanks for that response and I am that would be my worst knightmare. Appreciated Paul.

Have a look at the epilepsy societies page regarding driving regulations. Hope that helps. Wish you look with finding a cause for your seizures. Best wishes.


Hi JJHoward

This must be a very difficult and confusing time for you. No one expects to develop epilepsy in adulthood, so when it does happen there can be a lot to learn.

Some things make seizures more likely for some people with epilepsy. These are often called ‘triggers’. Triggers do not cause epilepsy itself, but they are things that make it more likely that you will have a seizure.

Not all people with epilepsy have seizure triggers. And, the things that trigger one person’s seizures might not affect other people with epilepsy in the same way.

Alcohol is a possible trigger for some people. What you need to do, is workout what is best for you. You may wish to view our webpage on alcohol and epilepsy.

If you are diagnosed with epilepsy, you will be covered by the Disability Discrimination Act. This means your employer will need to do any reasonable adjustments, if needed to help you in their workplace. For example, if you need to travel can you use public transport, have more time to travel, alter your job role slightly until you get your licence back? Some people may be entitled to the Access to Work Scheme.

Any change in your health must be reported to the DVLA. The driving laws state if you have any unexplained loss of consciousness you must stop driving and inform the DVLA. When you have your diagnosis, you then contact the DVLA and they will say how long you need to stop driving for.

There is quite a lot for you to deal with at the moment. If it will help, please feel free to contact our Advice and Information team. We can advice you about epilepsy, diagnosis, employment rights, driving and much more.

I hope this is of help.


Advice and Information Team

Thank you so much for that. I will call ASAP. Thanks again


Am pleased to hear you may have stopped drinking, but remember one seizure whilst driving could land you up in a court of law and losing your licence, never to be returned. The choice is yours. Good luck and all the best with finding out more triggers. Your doctor or Neurologist surely should tell you what the triggers are, or is he/she perhaps not interested either?


Hi everyone

We have removed two posts from this conversation. We did this as we felt the tone of these post were not polite or supportive. The role of this community is to offer advice and support but not to be judgemental or unkind.

Please remember epilepsy is a very individual condition and coming to terms with a diagnosis is very difficult.

If anyone would like information on triggers, alcohol and the driving laws please visit our website


Diane Wallace

Advice and Information Team


I have nothing else to say... I have been through the procedure of having a seizure whilst driving, and I was not even on alcohol at the age of 17 due to the laws of drinking under the age of 18.

Risking the lives of both yourself and others is not advisable.

My son has a seisure every time he does NOT drink alcohol. We have seen 12 seisures in 3 years. You can get some anti-seisure meds from doctors called toperimate and it has really helped him. He does not have epilepsy. I am trying to help him quit drinking alcohol and his doc has been able to get him on prescription of choro something that is to replace the alcohol need. but you can't drive on these drugs or on alcohol ... so he doesn't drive and that even makes him more isolated and makes him want to drink more. It is a terrible circumstance to be in and we don't have the money or health insurance to send him to a Rehab to get over his alcoholism. He does not want to tell the Driver License place as we hope once he quits drinking completely and doesn't have seisures anymore that he will be able to drive again. So we parked his truck and working towards quitting drinking. So if you don't have to drink to stop from having seisures then DON'T DRINK ALCOHOL at all. It is one of the worst drugs in our legal society to use and it is HELL to stop once you have an addition. good luck with yours ....

You shouldn't be driving now! As soon as you've had a seizure you need to inform the DVLA. They will more than likely revoke your license. From experience, it is much better to surrender it instead of waiting for them to do enquiries etc in order to revoke it, which can take forever. This way, you can start driving again 1 year from the date you had your last seizure (without your actual physical license in hand), without having to wait after reapplying for them to do checks with doctors etc which just prolongs the period you are without your license. This information was applicable a few years ago so may need confirming by DVLA. Hope that all makes sense!

I have had epilepsy for 35 years you can lead a normal life with epilepsy but that depends on you you have to take responsibility for your life after waiting many years of being patient working with consultants I have been seizure free for 15 years I enjoy the odd couple glasses wine I also drive . If you want to know whether you are driving legally you need to contact the dvla and as others are telling you take responsibility and think of the consequences if your driving and you have seizure.

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