Drink Driving – Is it really worth the risk?
Drink Driving – It’s that time of year again, you know, the time of year when people go out and have fun, get merry, and then think they’re okay to drive home.
I have never been much of a drinker, but I know if I was to have a pint of lager, there would be no way on this earth that I would be able to get behind the wheel of a car and attempt to drive home.
I realise that our bodies react differently to each other, and I’m guessing that’s why some people say ‘I’m fine’, even when they’ve had four pints of lager. But as some people seem to forget, there is a limit to what you can and can’t drink, and that limit is reached by volume of alcohol consumed and not by how they are feeling, just before they decide to get behind the wheel of a vehicle.
Even with all best interests intended, leaving your vehicle behind and picking it up the following morning can also result in a drink driving conviction. Yes, really, in fact about 17% of people caught drink driving, are done so the following morning. And while I kind of feel sorry for these drivers (after all, they didn’t drive home and thought they were doing the right thing), as they say, ignorance is no defence.
For those of you that travel to France on a regular basis will know that before you go, you’ll need a eu travel car kit. If you’ve never had the need to buy a eu travel car kit, you’ll discover that amongst all of the safety nic nacks, you’ll find a couple of breathalysers. Seeing that these are the best ways of ensuring you’re not over the limit before you decide to turn the key in the ignition, I’m not quite sure why they’ve not been introduced as compulsory ‘must have’s’ in this country.
For more information on Driving in France, please click on the link – Driving in France. Tips and Guide – Brittany Ferries.
Drink Driving - Breathalysers
Breathalysers were first invented in the States during the 1930’s and goes without saying, American police officers were the first to use them on drivers suspected of drink driving. However, they weren’t introduced to England until 1967. I know, quite a gap ah?
If you are stopped and asked to provide a sample, breathalysers can be used to carry, what is known as either a PBT (Preliminary Breath Test) or an EBT (Evidential Breath Test).
Did you know? – All breathalysers used by the police in England, must be approved by the Home Office?
But what is the difference?
Well, for those of you that have never seen a ‘fly on the wall’ police documentary series, a Preliminary Breath Test is a bulk standard breath test at the side of the road, should you be pulled over or involved in a road traffic incident. You may also be asked to perform one, should a police officer suspect you to be driving (or about to drive) whilst under the influence of alcohol.
Evidential Breath Testing, on the other hand, is the one to avoid because this is the test that’s only carried out on drivers that have failed the Preliminary Breath Test. This testing machine is rather more sophisticated and is somewhat larger than the handheld device used on the side of a road.
With an Evidential Breath Test, you will be required to provide two samples of breath, and the lowest reading (providing it’s over the limit) will be used against you in a court of law. However, if there is a big difference between the two readings, it will be looked upon as unreliable. Therefore, you will be requested to provide either a blood test or a urine sample.
Preliminary Breath Test.
This breath test involves a small, hand held breathalyser. Image Credit: The Daily Mail.
Evidential Breath Test
If you use this machine, you could be in trouble. Image Credit: Wikipedia
Britains Best Selling Personal Breathalyser. View this handheld breathalyser…
More personal breathalysers that are available. Don’t get caught out…
Drink Driving - Legal Units of Alcohol
Drink Driving - Legal Units of Alcohol
Legal Limits for England, Irland and Wales – Provided by Google
In England, Wales and Northern Ireland, the legal alcohol limit for drivers is 80 milligrammes of alcohol for every 100 millilitres of blood in your body. 35 micrograms of alcohol for every 100 millilitres of breath. 107 milligrammes of alcohol for every 100 millilitres of urine – 22 Sep 2015
Legal limits for Scotland – Provided by Google
A new law has come into force which makes the legal drink-drive limit in Scotland lower than elsewhere in the UK. The change reduces the legal alcohol limit from 80mg to 50mg in every 100ml of blood. Campaigners believe the new limit will cut the number of deaths and serious injuries on Scottish roads – 5 Dec 2014
As a rough guide…
…one unit of alcohol is about equal to; half a pint of ordinary strength beer, lager, or cider (3-4% alcohol by volume), or. a small pub measure (25 ml) of spirits (40% alcohol by volume), or. a standard pub measure (50 ml) of fortified wine such as sherry or port (20% alcohol by volume)
Drink Driving - The Consequences
Drink Driving - The Consequences
Before you’re involved in an accident caused by drink driving, you may want to consider the following, because as they say, prevention is better than cure…
- The straightforward stuff – Firstly, if you’re caught drink driving, you will get a driving ban. The length of the ban will depend on a few factors, including how much you were over the limit and whether it was your first/second etc offence.
- The Financial Costs – Not only will you receive a ban, but you’ll also receive a fine (plus costs). Then, you’ll have to pay for any damage caused to the vehicles or property, if you were involved in a crash. If you don’t have appropriate insurance, you may end up paying for your solicitor too. Oh, and let’s not forget, if you rely on your car for work, or your job involves driving a vehicle, you may be at risk of losing your job altogether. Now, if you think that’s a lot, I haven’t even touched on third party costs.
- Serious Injury – Have you ever thought what life might be like if you lost the use of your legs, arms or perhaps worse, both? Well, if you’ve been drinking, before you get into a car, you might want to think, long and hard.
- Death – Hitting a tree and killing yourself is just one tragic consequence, however, hitting and killing somebody else, is a whole different ball game. Despite the shame and the prison sentence, would you seriously be able to live with yourself? Think of the cherished people you share your life with, now think, what if… Hard, isn’t it?
- What you leave behind – Let’s face it, once you’re dead, you’re dead, and you’re not really going to know anything about it. But what about the people that are left behind? What about the family of the person that was hit? Perhaps there are children that no longer have a Mummy or Daddy, or perhaps there’s a Mummy or Daddy that no longer has…
Please, if you’ve had a drink, THINK!
Drink Driving - Further Reading
Main Image – Gloucestershire Road Safety
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