Enjoy your Party, but Know the Limits
by Ed Scott
Whether you’re dancing the night away with friends, having a few pints down the pub or having a swanky meal out with your partner, it’s likely that you’re going to be having a few to drink.
As much as we hate to be party poopers, we do think it’s especially important to highlight the issue of driving the morning after a night of drinking – something that catches out a number of people each year without realising. According to the Association of Chief Police Officers (OCPO), in 2011 more people failed breath tests between the hours of 6am and 11am than during the hour before or after midnight. http://www.theaa.com/newsroom/news-2013/aa-pernod-drink-drive-2013.html
Watch out for hung-over driving; it’s highly likely you’re still over the limit the next day, even if you think you’re okay.
Units in your drinks can add up
Don’t be fooled into thinking that getting a few hours’ sleep after your night out will automatically mean you’re fit to drive in the morning; alcohol remains in the blood even after you wake up. On average alcohol is broken down at around one unit per hour, so one bottle of wine takes around nine hours to exit your bloodstream. That’s a scary thought, isn’t it?
Bear in mind, the amount of drink you can handle is dependent on a few factors:
- Age: You become more sensitive to alcohol as you get older.
- Gender: Generally, women are more vulnerable to the effects of alcohol.
- Alcohol concentration: The higher the concentration of alcohol in your drink, the more alcohol enters your system. If over 11 units are consumed, the time it takes to leave your system doubles.
- Sleep: Lack of sleep has a similar effect to alcohol consumption on your driving.
Unfortunately, there’s no clear way of knowing how much you can drink before driving the next morning, so it’s worth remembering the facts, measuring your alcohol consumption, and erring on the side of caution. If you know how many units you’ve consumed, you’re less likely to exceed your limit.
Given the effects of alcohol on drivers (the average speed of a hung-over driver is over 10mph faster than that of a sober one!), if you’re planning driving the morning after a heavy night of partying, know your limits, and make sure you’re fit to drive.
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