Figures for 2012 show us that 230 people were killed and nearly 10,000 were injured as a result of drink driving – and of course not all of these were necessarily behind the wheel. (Reported Road Casualties; Great Britain – Annual Report 2013 DfT)
If you choose to get in the car and drive after you’ve had a drink you risk an accident to yourself and to the other people around you. There is no foolproof way of knowing how much you can drink and be able to drive safely; Even a small amount of alcohol can affect your ability to drive – low doses of alcohol can change your perception, your judgement and your physical ability without you being aware of it.
Some people are confused by drink drive limits and believe that there is a safe amount you can drink and still drive. There is no “safe amount” and even if you are below the drink drive levels you can be prosecuted for being “unfit through drink”. You cannot assume that having “just one drink” will leave you ok to drive; the best and safest advice is to keep your drinking behaviour completely separate from your driving.
The legal limits set by the Government are:
- 35 micrograms of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath; or
- 80 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood; or
- 107 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of urine:
If you’re alcohol levels are above these limits you can be prosecuted for “drink driving”. It’s not possible to say how much alcohol you can drink and stay below the limit.
How Alcohol Affects Driving
Alcohol affects the body in many ways, most of which can drastically decrease your ability to drive safely.
When under the influence of alcohol:
- The brain takes longer to receive messages from the eye
- The brain takes longer to deliver instructions to the body which results in slower reaction times
- Judgement and decision making can be impaired
- You may suffer from blurred or double vision
- You may have greater confidence which can lead to Increased risk taking behind the wheel