Drink Driving

Drink Driving

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.

Breathalysers

Preliminary Breath Test.

Preliminary Breath Test

This breath test involves a small, hand held breathalyser. Image Credit: The Daily Mail.

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Evidential Breath Test

Evidential Breath Testing

If you use this machine, you could be in trouble. Image Credit: Wikipedia

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Personal Breathalyser

Breathaliser

Britains Best Selling Personal Breathalyser. View this handheld breathalyser…

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More Breathalysers

breathalysers

More personal breathalysers that are available. Don’t get caught out…

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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…

 

units of alcohol

Image Credit: drinkaware.co.uk

…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

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 CostsNot 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 InjuryHave 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 behindLet’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

 

Drink Driving - Further Reading

Useful Websites

UK Goverment – THINK! Campaign

Don’t Risk it

A History of Drink Driving and Uk Law 

 

Acknowledgments

Images –

Main ImageGloucestershire Road Safety

Research – 

drinkdriving.org

drinkaware.co.uk

google.com

brittanyferries.co.uk

The Yorkshire Times

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20 comments

  • This is such an informative post and so important. I have never in my life drove after so much a drop of alcohol, and never will. I think half of the problem with those who drink drive is under estimating how much they have drank and therefore thinking that they are safe to drive. It should be illegal to drive after even a drop of alcohol. There is simply no excuse for it. Thanks for sharing, #momsterslink

    • Martin

      Hi, Laura.

      Thanks for popping over and leaving a reply.

      I couldn’t agree more, that’s why I always say no to any alcoholic drinks if I know I have to drive. The only difference between knowing and thinking you’re within the limit is by having no drinks at all.

      Of course, this post applies for every day of the week, every week of the year. Not just for the holiday season.

      Thanks #momsterslink

  • This is certainly is a very important and informative post. So much pain could be avoided if people didn’t drink drive. Hopefully after reading this post a lot of people will think twice about it. Thanks so much for linking up at #KCACOLS. Hope you come back again next Sunday. xx #KCACOLS

    • Martin

      Hi, thank you.

      Yes, it’s really important to keep driving the message home as so many people just keep on forgetting.

      Should be back next week. Thanks for taking the time to comment and hosting #KCACOLS

  • Great message to share especially during party season. You are so right influence is everything!

    • Martin

      Hi, Catie.

      Thanks for popping by and leaving a comment. People don’t realise how influential influence is!

      Thank you.

  • Such a true quote and so so real. my child copies me much more than not and it’s in all aspects of life too!

    Angela from Daysinbed

    • Martin

      Hi, Angela.

      I read this quote on a domestic abuse video. It started of quite funny with the child pacing up and down, pretending to talk on the phone, just like her Mum. But as the video went on, you realised where the message was going, whilst putting across the point of the video.

      Since then, I’ve noticed it more and more, especially as the boys have got older. Until that point, I hadn’t even thought about it.

      Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to leave your comment.

  • Some good info here, if I’m driving I don’t bother drinking x #KCACOLS

    • Martin

      Hi, Jenny.

      Yes there is. Hopefully people will use it if they need to but the bottom line is, don’t drink and drive, simple as!

      Thanks for stopping by.

  • Great post that highlights a very important issue. There is just no need to drink drive. If you can afford to go out and drink, you can afford the cab home, simple as that! #candidcuddles
    Debbie

    • Martin

      Hi, Debbie.

      I agree! It had been such a while since I’d gone out, I had no idea how much drinks were. During the Christmas period, I went out on the works do and paid £3.50 for a Pepsi! Goodness knows how much a pint of lager was.

      Thanks for taking the time to pop over from #candidcuddles, read and leave a comment. It’s much appreciated.

  • Great informative post. I didn’t know you now get breathalysers in car kits – that is really useful to know.

    When my husband and I are out we always decide which one of us is drinking (usually him) and which one of us is driving! It is just not worth the risk – especially when you have children in the car too! #KCACOLS

    • Martin

      Hi, Maria.

      I’m glad this post has passed on something useful for you. I think breathalysers are a useful item to have in a car, especially for those drivers that insist on having ‘just one.’

      Thanks for popping over from Franca’s Linky and leaving your comment.

  • I know so many people who have been in trouble for drinking including myself. I was very young, 19. Not even of legal age to drink yet. Some learn their lessons and some don’t. I live in a very small town where I see people drink and drive quite often. It’s such a huge chance to take. Great post and interesting to compare the UK to the US. I personally think they should install breathalyzers in every vehicle. A device that makes it so the car won’t start if you blow into it and it detects that you are over the limit. Thanks for linking with #momsterslink. Hope to see you again tomorrow! 💌Trista

    • Martin

      Hi, Trista.

      My Sister lives in the States and one of the first things she noticed was the amount of people that would drive home after having a drink, almost like it was the ‘done thing’ or ‘acceptable’. In fact, my wife and I often comment about it when we watch movies based in America.

      I like your idea that every car should be fitted with a breathalyser. To me, it makes sence!

      Thanks for popping over from #momsterlink, until next time…

  • This is a really informative post, Martin. I totally agree with you on all points, especially the one about setting an example for your children. They definitely copy what they see their parents do.

    • Martin

      Hi, Becky.

      I’m not sure where my previous reply has gone! Yes, something I’ve noticed more and more over the years is how much more kids copy than listen!

      Thanks for taking the time to leave your comment and for hosting Candid Cuddles.

  • I really like this post because it tells you everything you need to know about drink driving. I didn’t know that you can get breathalysers in car kits. This is very interesting. I would like to get that although I don’t normally drink but there is always a celebration day or something special that you perhaps do an exception and you can get in trouble if you are not sure how much you drink. I love that last quote and it absolutely true. I can see how my kids copy everything I do than do what I ask them to do!! Yo always have the best quotes Martin. Thanks so much for sharing this at #KCACOLS. I’m so happy to have you back. I would love to see you again on Sunday! 🙂 x

    • Martin

      Hi, Franca.

      Thank you for your kind words. I’ve been trying to spend a bit of time in other areas so I’ve started writing fewer posts, concentrating on content rather than quantity. My aim this year is to earn from my blog, so I’ve got a bit of things to implement!

      We only discovered the breathalyser kits because of the amount of times we go to France, and have to have them by their Law. I enjoy researching posts first and with this one, I discovered the numbers for drink driving are still too high. Not good really, especially when you know the authorities keep campaigning against it.

      Thanks for hosting #KCACOLS

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