1. Home
  2. /
  3. Roadsense
  4. /
  5. Don't Drink and Drive

Don't Drink and Drive


Don’t Drink & Drive

Everyone knows that driving while under the influence of alcohol is a recipe for disaster, but last year alone 100,000 drivers across the country got caught doing it. Drink driving is dangerous and can affect not only the driver but also other motorists and pedestrians if they are unlucky enough to get in the way. Read on for some of the facts about drink driving….

What is the legal limit?

The legal alcohol limit in the UK is 80 milligrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood. However, while this is the legal limit each person has an individual tolerance for alcohol, which is affected by factors such as their age, weight, gender, metabolism, stress level and whether or not they have eaten recently. Your person alcohol limit might actually be far lower than the legal limit.

The affects of Alcohol

Alcohol affects people in different ways, but in brief it will slow your reactions, reduce your field of vision, make it more difficult to judge speed and distance, and make you overly confident meaning that you will be more likely to take unnecessary risks. A person who has consumed double to legal amount of alcohol is 30 times more likely to cause a road accident than someone who hasn’t been drinking.

Lunchtime Drinking

A small drink over lunch is dangerous as it can make you sleepy and impair your driving. Furthermore, your metabolism is much faster than evening times, so you tend to feel the effects faster and heavier. Stick to water, juice or any of the many soft drinks that are readily available.

Don’t risk it

Even if you think you can handle your alcohol or have ‘only had a couple’ don’t risk it. Even a single drink will affect your driving performance and judgement. Remember, that even if you are within the legal limit, it could compromise your insurance claims and liability if you do end up an accident that you may not have caused.

If you’re stopped

If you are stopped by the police you may need to provide a specimen of breath, blood or urine for analysis. If you refuse to do this you can face a six-month imprisonment, a fine of up to £5,000 and disqualification from driving for at least 12

Being Charged

If you’re charged with driving, or attempting to drive, while above the legal limit or unfit through drink you face six months’ imprisonment, a fine of up to £5,000 and disqualification from driving for at least 12 months (or three years if convicted twice in

Foreign Countries

The blood/alcohol content maximum levels in other countries where you might rent a car, are different from the UK. While some might be more lenient others, such as Australia, are stricter. Check with your car hire depot staff before driving off. In Germany, for example, even cyclists get breathalised and police now check for recent consumption of illegal drinks using new sweat test technology. It could result in you being barred from further driving while there.

Causing Death

If you cause death by careless driving when under the influence of drink – or drugs – you will face 14 years’ imprisonment, an unlimited fine, disqualification from

The effects outside the law

The effects of being charged with drink driving go beyond the law. If you are disqualified from driving you will need to rely on friends and family for lifts, or use public transport for everything from getting to work to going to the shops. You could lose your job if you need to drive for work, and with a criminal record it may be harder to find another position.

The morning after

It is important to remember that if you consumed a lot of alcohol the night before you could still be over the legal alcohol limit the next morning. Be cautious, and if you did have a few too many take your time to sober up properly and if you need to go out walk, or get someone else to drive.

Watch out for others

It is also important to bear in mind that other drivers and pedestrians on the road might be under the influence of alcohol. Take extra care when driving past drunken pedestrians as they are likely to act unpredictably.

Disclaimer: These tips are not exhaustive and are for information only. Carrentals.co.uk can not be held responsible for any losses incurred as a result of acting on any information contained herein.