Drink-drive limit – do you pre-book that taxi or manage your alcohol intake?
As the nights draw in, the Christmas party invites start to arrive, the festive drinks after work reach a new level, and the desire to walk to the local begins to get less attractive in the rain, so, do you pre-book that taxi to get you home or have faith in your ability to manage your alcohol intake or may be even have none at all?
The boring bit …
The maximum BAC (blood alcohol content) limit in England & Wales is 35 micrograms of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath
80 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood
107 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of urine
But do you really, truthfully, honestly know what that means?
Don’t just say yes and skirt over it, have a really good think. What does that really mean to you as an individual when you consider how much you’ve been drinking on a night out? How many bottles of beer? How many pints? How many glasses of wine? How many gin and tonics will tip you over the drink-drive limit?
Bored already? Well just imagine how hard it’s going to be to keep a count when you’re out having fun and in an environment that prevents you from seeing the packaging on the bottle to even know what is the alcoholic percentage in your favourite tipple.
Alcohol basically slows down your body’s responses, that’s what will make your driving unsafe, even if you still think you feel ok, and that puts you and others at risk of accidents. I could bore you even more with how it affects your brain, your vision, your ability to process information, but I’ll leave that for you to Google that elsewhere. The really important thing is that everyone wants to enjoy a night out, but everyone wants to get home safely too. Could you live with yourself if you caused a life-changing accident, or worse, stopped someone going home to their family that night never to see their loved ones again? Seriously, how would you feel if you were the one hurt or maimed, your life changed forever? Give yourself a minute and imagine what devastation and loss your family and friends would feel if, through no fault of your own, you didn’t get home one night?
Strict alcohol limits and drink driving penalties exist to ensure safe driving on the roads but it is still estimated that nearly 8,000 drink drive accidents are reported per year and the number of fatalities is still rising. Should there be zero tolerance? Is that the only way to address it and not give anyone the opportunity to get it wrong when they drink alcohol?
The latest Department For Transport figures for Great Britain show the number of fatalities, where at least one driver was over the drink-drive limit, rose to 250 in 2017. That’s a nine percent increase on 2016’s numbers (230 deaths) and also the highest number since 2009! Why?
It may be a direct link to police cuts in funding as 2017 also saw a fall in roadside breath tests across England and Wales – a fall of 15% from the previous year. It may also be directly linked to the fact that the number of road traffic officers also decreased by 30% between 2007 and 2017. But it may also be due to the fact that while the laws are in place, the level of alcohol allowed in the UK drink-drive limit is the highest in the developed world! Together it is one heck of a lethal cocktail.
It begs the question, how much longer must the lives of hundreds of people be devastated before the government acts? Will the freedom of Brexit enable the necessary change? Or should you simply take it upon yourself to do the sensible thing and just don’t drink any amount of alcohol and drive? Don’t just park the car, park those keys and don’t be tempted.
Use the link below to find out more about how many drinks could push you over the limit: