We all know drink driving has the power to destroy lives; naturally, for those affected by the actions of a drink driver, but also for those behind the wheel. One bad decision can shape a future of regret and potentially life-changing guilt for the driver. If you are caught drink driving, consequences can range from 12 month bans and fines to prison sentences – it’s just not worth the risk.
So, why are so many people still taking this deathly gamble with theirs and other people’s lives? In 2016, (the latest provisional Government figures) statistics show that around 240 people died as a result of drink driving. This is 240 too many.
The safest way to make sure you don’t exceed the drink drive limit is to not drink alcohol at all before driving. This is because the amount you can drink while staying under the limit and driving safely depends on:
– Your weight, age and sex
– Your metabolism
– Your stress levels
– How much you’ve eaten
– The type and amount of alcohol you are drinking.
This makes it incredibly difficult to estimate what amount is acceptable to drink before driving. So, to make sure you remain under the limit for certain, you can: drink non-alcoholic drinks; go out somewhere where there are reliable transport links; arrange for someone to be the designated driver.
Even if you feel okay after going out and drinking the night previously, you may still be over the legal limit. Eating a big breakfast, drinking plenty of fluids and having a shower will not help alcohol leave your system any quicker. Time is the only fix.
The length of time it takes for alcohol to leave your system depends on the amount you drank, over what period of time and the speed at which your own body gets rid of it.
Generally, alcohol leaves your bloodstream at a rate of 1 unit per hour.
In England and Wales, the drink drive limit is 35 micrograms per 100 millilitres of breath, 80 milligrammes per 100 millilitres of blood or 107 milligrammes per 100 millilitres of urine.
Unlike England and Wales, in Scotland the drink drive limit is 22 micrograms per 100 millilitres of breath, 50 milligrammes per 100 millilitres of blood or 67 milligrammes per 100 millilitres of urine.
You could receive a fine, driving ban or a prison sentence depending on the severity of the situation. Explore our drink driving penalties guide.