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You Booze, You Lose


During the Christmas months, alcohol consumption in Britain increases by 40 per cent with 54 per cent of men and 41 per cent of women expected to drink over the recommended guidelines during the festive period.

Every year drink driving campaigns hit our TV screens, radios and catch our attention on the motorways to warn us of the dangers of drink driving. However, do drivers really understand what constitutes as ‘over the limit’?

It is a common misconception that one alcoholic drink is one unit, but with so many different drinks, sizes of glasses and bottles it is difficult to establish how many units are in a single drink.

Another misconception is the legal drink driving limit is two units of alcohol or less. However, the current law states consumers driving are legally allowed to drink 80 milligrammes of alcohol per 100millilitres of blood, 35 microgrammes per 100 millilitres of breath or 107milligrammes per 100 millilitres of urine. To put it simply one unit equals 10ml or 8g of pure alcohol, which is around the amount of alcohol the average adult can process in an hour.

What drivers really need to know is that, the legal drink driving limit is not as black as white as once thought. The legal limit depends on many variables, such as:

  • Weight
  • Gender (men tend to process alcohol faster than women)
  • Metabolism
  • ABV volume
  • Current stress levels
  • Last time food was consumed
  • Age (younger people tend to process alcohol more slowly)

From the above it is easy to be confused with what is classed as over the drink driving limit. Another factor drivers must consider is what happens the morning after.

After enjoying Christmas celebrations till the early hours of the morning, it is not uncommon for alcohol to stay in our system well into the following day. Therefore those who get in at the wee hours of the morning and start their day at 8 am could still have alcohol present in their blood system. In general, alcohol is removed from the blood at the rate of about one unit an hour, but again this varies from person to person.

Drink Driving affects peoples driving in many ways. The brain takes longer to process messages from the body, resulting in a slower reaction times. In 2012, 1,200 people were seriously injured when a driver was over the legal alcohol limit and as a result, 280 people were killed in drink driving accidents.

As one of the UK’s leading driver recruitment agencies we have a zero tolerance when it comes to drink driving, and as a result, we hope everyone has a safe and enjoyable Christmas.

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