“I’ll just have a couple, and then I’ll drive home!”

Blog post posted on 07/12/16 |

Is this familiar? Have you heard this before? ‘I’ll have two pints and I’ll be ok to drive’.  No doubt many of you have, as it seems a common misconception that two drinks is the acceptable amount you can drink and still drive whilst being under the legal limit.  It suggests there is an awareness of the effects of alcohol and how it impacts on your ability to drive or stay within the legal limit; however the understanding of the consequences and how alcohol affects each and every individual has been lost in this approach.

In 2014 there were 240 deaths on UK roads due to drink driving –14% of all road fatalities, the victims being the driver, passenger or another road user.  By drinking and driving, you are risking your life, those of your passengers and all others individuals who use our roads.

Across the UK there are strict alcohol limits for drivers but how drinking up to these limits will affect you is not easy to say.   There are many factors in play, such as:

  • Your height, weights, sex and rate of metabolism
  • The type of alcohol you’re drinking (known as the strength or % ABV)
  • What you’ve eaten recently
  • Your mental condition at the time and general health

There are many consequences associated with a drink drive offence; if you are caught and convicted you could face financial and personal consequences, such as:

  • A minimum 12 month ban
  • A fine exceeding £250.00
  • A custodial sentence
  • A criminal record
  • Increase in car insurance premiums
  • Job loss
  • A criminal record could affect your ability to gain access to foreign countries, such as Australia and the USA

At IAM Roadsmart, we estimate that the cost of a drink drive conviction could be –anything up to £50,000, a result of solicitor fees, job loss, fines and increased car insurance.

Remember it takes at least 1 hour for each unit of alcohol to leave your body, however this varies considerably and there is nothing you can do to speed up the rate alcohol leaves your body. 

The good news is there’s a simple solution to calculating alcohol levels. If you’re planning on driving make it ‘none for the road’.

Christopher Davies, IAM RoadSmart DRA project leader