The Dangers of Drink Driving

Breath tests have been carried out since 1967 and are a precaution taken by the police to ensure that everyone driving on the roads are under the legal limit. Although you may think that you are under the limit, it is always a good idea to avoid driving altogether once you’ve had a drink. Any amount of alcohol can cloud your judgement, causing danger on the roads, so it’s best to avoid drink driving whether you have had one unit or more.

How Does Alcohol Affect Driving?

DRIVE Driving School Sudden Brake Stop

Something we tell our students is that driving while under the influence of alcohol is considered dangerous, regardless of how much you’ve had. After drinking alcohol, your brain starts to work inefficiently and is unable to process things as fast as usual. In simple terms, your brain begins to slow down, which consequently affects your coordination and, therefore, takes your brain longer to receive and process information. This can affect your judgment, causing you to swerve outside your lane and slows down your reaction time, which could result in a fatal accident.

If you’re driving at night, your vision is already limited as you rely on your lights to see the road ahead. When you drink alcohol, your ability to see at night can fall by up to 25%; this can make it even more difficult to concentrate on the road. Furthermore, when you consume alcohol, you are unable to gauge how fast you are driving, which can cause you to lose control of your car, go into the back of the driver in front and even get a speeding ticket.

Legal Drink Driving Limits

DRIVE Driving School drink alcohol

Drinking limits are different for everyone as everyone is unique and can, therefore, drink more, or less than someone else. Many things factor into the legal limit that you can consume before driving. These factors include the following:

– Weight

– Age

– Metabolism speed

– Whether you are female or male

– Type of alcohol you are consuming

– What you have recently eaten

Although there are alcohol limits, it can be tricky to know how many drinks a person can consume before they are over the limit. The type of alcohol, percentage and strength are all aspects that are taken into account, so to be safe, we recommend to cut out drinking as a whole if you plan to drive.

Drink Driving Penalties

DRIVE Driving School emergency vehicle

Drink driving is a criminal offence, and the consequence can be a fine or even worse a custodial sentence. It is illegal to drive under the influence of alcohol over a certain limit, and you could find yourself with a hefty penalty. These penalties are in place to try and deter people from driving under the influence of alcohol; it is hazardous, for yourself and other people of the road.

Penalties differ depending on the situation and severity in which you are found driving under the influence of alcohol; these penalties are as follows:

Caught In Charge Of A Vehicle – 3 months in prison, maximum of a £2,500 fine and may face a driving ban.

Caught Driving/Attempting To Drive – 6 months in prison, an unlimited fine and a ban of a minimum of one year.

Refusal To Take A Breathalyzer Test – 6 months in prison, an unlimited fine and a one-year driving ban.

Causing Death Through Drink Driving – 14 years in prison, an unlimited fine, minimum of a two-year driving ban and you must take an extended test before you can drive again.

In some cases, you may be given the opportunity to reduce your 12-month or more driving ban if you agree to take part in a drink-drive rehabilitation scheme course. Whether you have the chance to take this is in the hands of the court, and it will have to be paid for out of your own pocket.

Driving In The Morning

DRIVE Driving School alarm morning

A mistake that many people make is assuming that they can drive the morning after drinking as they believe that the alcohol will be out of their system. However, it takes approximately 12 hours for alcohol to be out of your system entirely. Therefore, it is unsafe to drive your vehicle in the morning, even if you feel like you have had a good night sleep.

If you have somewhere to be in the morning, or you are not staying in your own home, we would recommend that you arrange for a taxi to come and pick you up to take you home, rather than attempting to drive. You are still at risk of causing danger to those on the road, and you can face the penalties that have been discussed. The simple solution to this is not to drink or make sure that you have transport arrangements for the morning after.

Avoid Drink Driving

You must avoid drink driving as much as possible, regardless of how much you have drunk. There is no excuse for drinking and driving as there are many ways in which you can avoid it. For example, taking public transport, having a designated driver, taking a taxi or even planning a hotel if you are far from home. We strongly advise our students to avoid drinking and driving, as we aim to make the roads as safe as possible for everyone.