We all know that drinking and driving is illegal, but not many think about the implications of even one drink, let alone being over the limit.
With an average of 3,000 of people killed or seriously injured each year in drink drive collisions and nearly 1 in 6 deaths on the road involve drivers over the legal alcohol limit, drink driving is a big deal. Particular among young men (17-29), between 1979 and 2014, 940 people were killed in drink driving accidents in Great Britain each year, and another 3,681 seriously injured.
You need to stay aware of the units you are drinking, so that you stay below the legal limits. You need to have less than 80 milligrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood. However, any amount of alcohol affects your ability to drive safely. Alcohol tends to make you feel over confident and more likely to take risks when driving, increasing the danger to all road users, including yourself. It can slow you reactions, increase your stopping distances, reduce your judgement of speed and distances and limit your field of vision.
There is no failsafe guide on how to stay under your legal alcohol limit, as it depends on your weight, sex, age, metabolism, stress levels, how much you have eaten and the type of alcohol you consume. Make sure to assess whether you are still affected by alcohol the next day; even if you feel ok, you may still be unfit to drive and could lose your license.
Unfortunately, it is impossible to get rid of the alcohol from your system faster than it will itself. Even though a shower, a cup of coffee or greasy breakfast may make you feel better, it doesn’t speed up your recovery.
Getting caught for drink driving could mean you are imprisoned, banned from driving or face a fine, but the actual penalty you get will be up to the magistrate who hears your case and depends on your offence. The court may offer you a drink-drive rehabilitation scheme (DDRS) course if you’re banned from driving for 12 months or more.
Other problems you could face if convicted are that your insurance would go up, if you drive for work your employer will see your conviction on your licence and you may have trouble travelling to countries like the USA.
The easiest and safest thing to do if you know you are going to be driving is not to drink at all, no matter how tempting