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Do Not Get Caught Out By These 8 Drink Driving Myths

During the Festive period many people like to have a drink and get into the festive spirit, but the police are more vigilant for drunk drivers. So at a time of year when many of us like to have a drink and relax, don’t get caught out by these drink driving myths.

 #1 I’ve only had 2 pints

You’ve heard it. You may have said it.

But your limit isn’t about how much you drink. It’s about how much is in your systems, and everybody’s body manages the alcohol in your system differently. It can depend on:

·         your weight

·         whether you’re male or female

·         your age

·         how quickly or slowly your body metabolises

·         how much you’ve eaten

·         whether you’re on medication


So you may have only had 2 pints, but your body could still have over 80 milligrams per 100 millilitres of alcohol in your blood, making you over the limit.

And that leads us onto the next point...


#2 The breathalyser says I’m not over the limit!

You don’t have to be.

If you have less than 35 micrograms of alcohol for every 100 millilitres of breath, you aren’t over the limit.

But if you have alcohol in your systems, and you’ve been pulled over for irregular driving, it could be proven that whilst you weren’t over the limit, your driving was as a result of the alcohol in your system.

The effects of alcohol are different from person to person. So even a very small amount of alcohol may influence your driving, which could result in you picking up a Driving Under the Influence (DUI).

And the penalties for a DUI conviction are still very serious.

#3 I’ve slept since then

Sleep isn’t a magic cure for alcohol. It might make you feel like a significant time has passed, but in reality your body still has to metabolise all the alcohol in your system.

So depending on the amount you’ve drank and how long you’ve slept, it might be a good idea not to drive the following morning at all and give your system plenty of time to remove all the alcohol.

Sleep is great for making you less tired. Not less drunk.

#4 I was only sat in the driving seat

You don’t have to be physically driving the car to be charged with a drink driving offence. But if it can be demonstrated that you were “in charge” of the vehicle, you could be convicted.

There is no exact definition of being “in charge”, but if there is good reason to believe that you intended to drive the vehicle, you can find yourself in trouble.

#5 Drinking coffee

Drinking a coffee, especially a strong one, doesn’t change the amount of alcohol in your system. It might make you feel more alert and more in control, but the affect of the alcohol in your system is still the same.

So don’t confuse feeling alert from high caffeine levels with feeling sober.

You’re still just as drunk, but you’re just more awake too.

#5 Sucking a 2p coin

There is no scientific reason to think that sucking a 2p coin, or anything made from copper, is somehow going to magically remove the alcohol from your system.

Don’t even entertain the idea.

#6 You can’t smell it on my breath

Just because you can’t smell it on your breath doesn’t mean it’s not there. In fact, there’s no link between the smell of your breath and the alcohol in your system.

Alcohol doesn’t have a smell. It’s the other chemicals and ingredients in the drinks that make your breath smell. And often you can’t notice the smell of your own breath anyway, so it’s not a good way to judge.

You don’t have to smell like you’re over the limit to be over the limit.

#7 Chewing gum

As with the point above, the smell of your breath isn’t what the breathalyser picks up. And chewing gum only serves to disguise the smell of the ingredients and other chemicals within the alcoholic drink.

Minty fresh breath won’t confuse a breathalyser, blood test, or urine test.

#8 I’ve had a big meal

Having a meal will help to soak up some of the alcohol and prevent it from being absorbed into your system so quickly. But in many ways this makes it more of a risk because it’s harder to accurately judge whether you’ve drank too much.

Also, as the alcohol is absorbed into your system it will take longer to be removed. So depending on the amount you drink before, during and after the meal, it may be that you’re unable to drive your vehicle for even longer.

Don’t rely on food to keep you under the limit.

Our advice?

Don’t drink anything if you’re driving.

Just one drink could take you over the legal limit, depending on how your system metabolises the alcohol.

And if you know you’re going to be driving the following morning, drink in moderation and stop earlier than you might normally.

There are no tricks or ways of cheating the tests, so if you’re over the limit and you get caught drink driving, you’re going to be charged with a drink driving offence.   

When you’re facing an unlimited fine, a driving ban, and a prison sentence, it just isn’t worth the risk and the devastation it can cause to yours and other people’s lives.

If you get caught drink driving, call 01484 437 400 for a free consultation

02/01/2015 09:35