What is drink driving?

Drink driving, driving under the influence (DUI) or sometimes know as driving while intoxicated (DWI) is when a person gets behind the wheel of a motorised vehicle, this can be a car, truck, motorcycle or any other vehicle with a motor, after they’ve consumed alcohol which is classed as a serious crime. 

In England and Wales, the alcohol limit for drivers is 80 milligrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood, 35 microgrammes per 100 millilitres of breath or 107 milligrammes per 100 millilitres of urine.

Although these are the limits in England and Wales even a small amount of alcohol in a persons system can lead to a harmful situation. Not all drivers show signs of being under the influence, however, the situation isn’t any less dangerous. 

Those who binge group or are struggling with an alcohol addiction or more at risk of drinking and driving. Their tolerances to alcohol can be higher and not realise how much alcohol has been consumed. It takes roughly between 30 minutes and two hours for alcohol to be absorbed into the bloodstream; breathing rate and cognitive skills may slow. All these reactions will make your driving far more dangerous to yourself and others on the road.

Dangers of Drinking and Driving

Safe driving comes from good concentration, the ability to make good judgements and quick reactions. Drink driving puts these necessary skills at risk.

Alcohol affects everyone differently but generally, alcohol impairs your driving skills through:

  • Reducing reaction times – Alcohol slows your response time, which means the likelihood of an accident increase. For instance, if there’s an obstacle in the road or someone ahead of you brakes hard fast your brain will require a longer time to react.
  • Reducing coordination – Alcohol causes detrimental effects to your essential motor skills like eye, hand and foot coordination. Without these key skills, staying in your lane can become difficult, causing you to sway into other lanes or onto pathways, resulting in very dangerous driving.
  • Reducing concentration – Driving needs your undivided attention, from being aware of road signals to stay in lane. Alcohol reduces your attention span dramatically, even if you’re unaware of it.
  • Reducing vision – You will have heard of beer goggles, alcohol causes blurry vision and a reduced depth perception ability. This means you won’t be able to asses how close objects are in the road cause accidents.
  • Reducing good judgment – Without good judgment, it’s hard for you to make clear decisions and foresee potential problems making you less alert to your surroundings.

What’s the drink drive limit in England and Wales?

In England and Wales, the alcohol limit for drivers is 80 milligrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood, 35 microgrammes per 100 millilitres of breath or 107 milligrammes per 100 millilitres of urine. In most other European countries, the limit is less, usually 50 milligrammes per 100 millilitres of blood.

How much can I drink and stay under the limit?

The only way to guarantee you stay under the drink-drive limit is not to consume alcohol before driving. There are many variables that contribute to the amount of alcohol a person can consume before they reach their limit. It depends on: 

  • Weight, age, sex and metabolism
  • The type and amount of alcohol you’re drinking
  • What food you’ve recently consumed
  • Your stress levels at the time

What’s the punishment if I get caught drink driving?

Drivers caught over the drink drive limit could receive a number of different penalties depending on the nature of their offence. If caught over the legal alcohol limit when driving, everyone will be banned from driving for a minimum of 12 months and fined up to £5,000 with the potential to receive between 3 and 11 driving points. There’s also the potential you could be sent to prison for up to 6 months. The length and amount you’ll receive will depend on the seriousness of the offence. If you repeat the offence of drink driving within a 10 year period you’ll be banned from driving for at least 3 years.

If you’re worried about your drinking and driving under the influence, talk to our team to seek help.

x Shield Logo
This Site Is Protected By
The Shield →