23 Dec 2021

Majority of Drivers Don’t Know They’re Over Drink Drive Limit

The majority of drivers didn’t know they were over the drink-drive limit when getting behind the wheel, the results of an alcohol experiment revealed.

A recent study asked 90 drivers to drink beer, wine, or both, and indicate when they had gone past the drink-drive limit.

Over half (53%) thought, wrongly, they were safe to drive after the drinks, leading those who conducted the experiment to urge caution, particularly during the festive period which is a notorious time for drink-driving.

Dr Kai Hensel, one of the authors, told the Harm Reduction Journal; “In countries with legal alcohol limits, it’s usually the driver who makes a judgement about how much they’ve drunk and how fit they are to drive.

“But as we’ve shown, we are not always good at making this judgement. As many as one in two people in our study underestimated how drunk they were – and this can have devastating consequences.”

The alcohol limit for drinking then driving in England, Wales and Northern Ireland is 80 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood. But a number of factors can alter the effect of that alcohol on a driver’s ability to be in control of a vehicle.

These include age, gender, weight, food consumed on the day, the type of alcohol consumed, tiredness and stress levels.

With little definitive way to know if you are over the limit or not, the best idea is to avoid drinking entirely when you know you’ll need to drive and make alternative arrangements.

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