How Does Alcohol Affect Driving?
After drinking alcohol, your brain starts to work inefficiently. In simple terms, your brain begins to slow down which consequently affects your coordination and takes longer to receive and process information that your senses, such as your eyes send to it. This affects your lane discipline causing you to swerve in the road or slow down your reaction time to an oncoming car. Furthermore, your ability to see at night will fall by up to 25%, making more difficult to concentrate on what is ahead of you. Drink driving can decrease your speed awareness, making it easier to lose control of the vehicle.
Legal Drink Driving limits
So there are many things to take into consideration when examining someone who has been drinking, their body mass for example as everyone is different. Even your gender and rate of metabolism can affect the way alcohol influences you.
Therefore, the current UK law regarding the alcohol limits are:
Image credit to the GOV.UK website.
Although there are alcohol limits, it can be tricky to guess how many drinks a person can consume before they are over the limit. The type of alcohol, percentage and strength are all aspects that are taken into account, so to be safe, it is always recommended to cut out drinking as a whole if you also plan to drive.
Drink Driving Penalties
A former pupil, John Hutchinson, was taking his driving lesson in the Goodmayes area with us and recently passed. Just three weeks after he gained his licence, he was caught driving under the influence of alcohol. John has since called us up for guidance and asked what the consequences will be; we explained the following:
Penalties differ depending on the situation and severity in which you are caught under the influence of alcohol, these are:
Caught In Charge Of A Vehicle – 3 months in prison, maximum of a £2,500 fine and may face a driving ban.
Caught Driving/Attempting To Drive – 6 months in prison, an unlimited fine and a ban of a minimum of one year.
Refusal To Take A Breathalyzer Test – 6 months in prison, an unlimited fine and a one-year driving ban.
Causing Death Through Drink Driving – 14 years in prison, an unlimited fine, minimum of a two-year driving ban and you must take an extended test before you can drive again.
In some cases, you may be given the opportunity to reduce your 12-month or more driving ban if you agree to take part in a drink-drive rehabilitation scheme course. Whether you have the chance to take this is in the hands of the court, and it will have to be paid for out of your own pocket.