Whether you live in the UK or the US, drinking and driving is a very serious matter. Too many people are badly injured or killed due to unnecessary accidents as a result of driving while under the influence of alcohol. Could you live with the consequences if you killed someone because you were drunk while driving a vehicle? It only takes a couple of pints to put you over the legal drink-driving limit and you cannot rely on how you feel to tell you when to stop. Part of the problem is that once you start drinking, you are the last person who is best placed to make a judgment about your capabilities. So be smart and take along a designated driver when you go out for a drink. You can buy the driver’s cokes for the night as a reward for being a friend and making sure you get home safely!
Statistics – Driving Under The Influence
Here are some sobering statistics for you to think about before getting behind the wheel after drinking:
Every year there are approximately 3,000 people killed or seriously injured in drink-driving accidents.
One in six deaths is caused by a driver who is over the legal limit.
More than 500,000 breath tests are done each year and out of those 100,000 are positive for drink-driving.
Most collisions that are drink related are young men between the ages of 17 and 29.
What the Law Says
There are some stiff punishments if you attempt or are caught driving over the legal drink-driving limit. Here are some of the most common ones:
Driving or making an attempt to drive while over the legal drink driving limit carries a maximum sentence of six months imprisonment, a minimum of 12 months loss of driving privileges and a fine of up to 5,000GBP.
For refusing to allow a breath test or any other analysis for driving while drunk, you can go to prison for six months, lose your license for 12 months, and have to pay a fine of up to 5,000GBP.
If a drink driving offence goes on your license it will stay there for 11 years. It will take 11 years for you to have a clean license again.
If you cause a death while driving while over the legal limit you face a maximum of 14 years in prison, a two year suspension of your driving privileges, and you must take an extended driving test before you can drive again.
The Drink Drive Limit
In the UK the limit for drivers is 80mg of alcohol per 100 ml of blood. This is referred to as the BAC or blood-alcohol concentration. The breath alcohol is 35 microgrammes per 100 ml and the alcohol in urine is 107 mg per 100ml.
This is equal to about two normal strength pints of beer for a normal sized man. You should not use that as a guide though. There are lots of factors such as stress and metabolism that also plays a big part. Be smart and take a designated driver with you rather than taking any chances.