Alcohol and Driving

As well as being against the law, there is significant evidence to prove that driving whilst under the influence of alcohol dramatically increases the risk of injury and accidents. Although there has been a decline in the number of those who drink and drive, there are still thousands of people who are injured or killed on our roads each year as a result of drink-driving.

The legal alcohol limit for drivers in the UK is 80 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood. Although there are guides as to how many alcoholic drinks this equates too, it is often very difficult to determine these levels because it varies from person to person and depends upon many factors including weight, gender (men tend to process alcohol faster), your metabolism, stress levels and even your age (younger people tend to process alcohol more slowly). It is always recommended that if you are planning on driving then just stick to non-alcoholic drinks to eliminate any risk.

Alcohol increases the risk of an accident whilst driving because all of the main functions we rely on to be safe behind the wheel such as coordination, clear vision, reaction times and information processing are all negatively affected when we drink. The risk is increased further still as alcohol can often lead to taking unnecessary risks due to the way it inhibits behaviour and confidence.

Don’t drink and drive! It’s always best to decide who is going to be the designated driver and will, therefore, abstain from alcohol on a night out so they can drive safely. Also, take advantage of good public transport links if available or make sure you have a reputable taxi number and book before you go out (so you don’t forget later in the night and end up stranded!). If you have no option but to drive, stick to alcohol-free beers, ‘mocktails’ or soft drinks/water. Remember that not every night out has to involve a bar, pub or club. Why not book a table at a restaurant or go bowling or to the cinema as an alternative to a night out.

The morning after it takes on average about one hour for your body to break down each unit of alcohol you consumed from when you stop drinking. Therefore it may take many hours for the amount of alcohol consumed to leave the system. So please bear in mind that there is a chance you still be over the legal drinking limit the day after!

More information is available at www.drinkaware.co.uk  and www.ias.org.uk

Posted in: Health and Wellbeing