Thursday 7th December 2017
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Drink and drive consequences

If you’ve clicked on this article then a ‘big well done to you’ as you must be someone who is responsible and wants to learn more... 

Knowing the consequences of drink driving can easily be overlooked, or ignored unless someone has actually experienced this nightmare. It can be so easy for drivers to get behind the wheel after a couple of drinks, sometimes not really being aware they are actually over the limit. It’s even easier to get in the car the next morning and not be aware you’re exceeding the limit from the night before. In this blog we’re going to be looking at the factual consequences and the possible consequences surrounding drink driving.

Factual consequences

  • Pay a fine to the court (Up to £2500)
  • Driving ban between 12 to 36 months
  • Criminal record for up to 11 years
  • Hassle to get from A to B whilst banned as you rely on taxis and public transport etc.
  • Unhelpful to family and friends who rely on you to drive them around
  • Send back the license to the DVLA, which prevents you from hiring a car abroad
  • Pay a fee to get your license back!
  • Insurance premium will double, or more

Possible Consequences

  • Loss of job
  • Book a 3 day driving course from £145, another hassle/cost not needed
  • Cause fatality to yourself and/or someone else
  • Cause the victim’s family to be seriously unhappy
  • Imprisonment for up to 14 years for death caused by drink driving
  • A high risk offender must provide a medical test to get their license back
  • 2nd time ban up to 5 years

What is a high risk offender?

A high risk offender is someone who falls into one or more of the following categories;

  1. Those disqualified twice within a 10 year period
  2. Those disqualified with more than 2.5 times the legal alcohol limit (87.5mg breath, 200 mg blood, or 267.5mg urine)
  3. Those refusing to supply a specimen for analysis

The medical test is not undertaken by your own doctor. This is done by a DVLA approved specialist and they can detect the alcohol effects in the body for up to 2 years when making a decision to hand your license back. To stop drinking 2 weeks before the test is not adequate enough, as we said the examiner can see up to 2 years for the effects on the body. Their tests will include an in depth analysis of the liver, pancreas, kidneys etc.

How much can I drink?

This is quite an interesting topic as not many people know exactly how many units can take you over the legal testing limits. It has to do whether you’re male or female and your body size to see how quick the alcohol can take to leave your body. 

Here’s how it typically works;

1 Pint of premium lager = 2.8 units
1 Large glass of red wine = 3.3 units
1 Single whisky and mixer = 1 unit
1 Small glass of red wine = 2.45 units
1 Pint of standard lager = 2.3 units

One unit is equal to 10 ml of pure alcohol and the average adult can process 1 unit per hour. The information for the alcohol content can be read on the side of a bottle, or tinny. This is where you can find out the percentage of alcohol and the units contained.

For example: If a bottle of wine says 14% on the side then this means 14% of the volume of that drink is pure alcohol. To work out the unit consumption the calculation works as follows;
A small glass of wine which is 175ml is 175ml x 14% = 2450

2450/1000 and you get 2.45 units in the glass

Now, hopefully you’re not lost on this by now, because here comes the eye opener.

If someone drinks 5 small glasses of red wine on a night out that lasts from 7pm to 11pm that’s 4 hours of drinking and totals 12.25 units. Again, it would depend on gender and body size, but on average it would take;

12.25 units deduct 4 hours and add 1 = 9.25 hours and this is how many hours it would take to leave your system.

Surprisingly, there are a lot of parents caught out on this by innocently dropping their kids off on the school run and yet still be over from the previous night.

drink drive stopped by the police

Zero Tolerance

In England and Wales, the legal breath limit is 35mg per 100 ml (so don’t go over this one), 80mg per 100ml in the blood and 107mg per 100ml in the urine. However, there are some countries like Sweden and Scotland that adopt the zero tolerance law where any trace of alcohol in the system means the driver faces conviction.

This is particularly helpful as everyone knows where they stand, don’t you think? Don’t drink at all before getting behind the wheel! But, because there is so much ambiguity over how many units and the ‘next day syndrome’ where drivers are unaware, it can be so easy to make a mistake. Some EU countries like France make it mandatory to keep 2 breathalyzers in the car at all times, so if you’re driving out onto the continent next year for a getaway, make sure you have these onboard.

Do you remember the days when people smoked at their work desks and inside buildings? That seems so terrible to think of now because the government has brought in laws to change the public’s mindset. The same should happen with zero tolerance and drink driving, don’t you think?

For more helpful Government information you can click here and Drinkaware have some pretty good facts here.

What’s your thoughts about this article? Have you found it eye opening, or helpful? Please tell us in the comments below: