In 2009, almost 12,000 road accidents were related to drink driving. In the same year, 380
people were killed as a result of drink-driving. Conclusively, it was found that alcohol was
responsible for about 17% of all road fatalities in 2009.
There is no fool proof way of knowing how much you can drink and still drive safely; even a small amount of
alcohol can affect your ability to drive. The safest option is not to drink any alcohol if you plan to drive. Even a
minimal amount of alcohol can affect your ability to drive, as alcohol affects different people in different ways.
- Whether you have eaten recently or not
How alcohol affects driving
Alcohol affects the body in many ways, most of which can drastically decrease your ability to drive safely.
When under the influence of alcohol:
- The brain takes longer to receive messages from the eye.
- The brain longer to deliver instructions to the body which results in slower reaction times.
- You may suffer from blurred or double vision.
- Increased risk taking behind the wheel.
People are often confused by the ‘mixed message’ that there is a legal limit set
by the Government to the amount of alcohol that you can drink if you’re driving –
However, even under the legal limit for drink-driving you are still at risk of losing your
licence through the following charges:
- 'Unfit through drink' meaning that you are under the legal limit but unfit to drive.
- 'Failing to provide a specimen for analysis; this is an offence in itself.
- ‘Drunk in charge’ this means to be in possession of someone’s car keys. ( Note that this offence has
nothing to do with your intent to drive).
Each of these could lead to a driving ban, a fine of between £2500-£5000 and a
prison sentence of between 3-6 months.
- A driving ban of 12 months or longer.
- A criminal record.
- Loss of a job and difficulty in finding another.
- Loss of independence and freedom.
- Loss of spontaneity.
- Loss of respect from friends and family.
- Community service, prison sentence or heavy fines.
- Injury or death to self, family/friends or others.
- Causing death by drink driving could result in a 14 year prison sentence, a minimum 2 year driving
ban and a driving re-test.
- Issues when reinsuring a car (higher insurance premium)