Did you know that 1 in 5 motor vehicle deaths in Victoria had a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) over the legal limit of 0.05?
Considering how much alcohol affects your ability to drive, you’d expect people to have the self-preservation instinct to call a taxi or an Uber instead of drive. But far too many people don’t underestimate the extent to which alcohol can affect your driving skills.
How alcohol affects your driving ability
When driving under the influence of alcohol, you can expect slower decision making, reckless driving, and blurred vision.
Here is a list of ways alcohol affects your driving:
- Your brain processes stimuli slower and makes split-second decision making impossible
- Perception of the senses become numb, including vision, hearing, smell, touch
- Gauging distance and speed becomes more difficult
- Risk of falling asleep or having moments of micro-sleep
- Altered personality, often-times an over the top sense of confidence
- Excessive focus on the mechanics of driving rather than your surroundings
- Loss of concentration by focusing on things other than driving
- Paranoia from fear of police may distract the driver
As you can see, there are a lot of ways that alcohol affects your driving ability. But apart from your diminished ability to drive and possible physical harm — there are legal consequences.
The legal consequences
If you are caught driving under the influence of alcohol with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of over 0.05, according to Victorian law you will:
✓ Immediately have your licence suspended
✓ Receive a fine of up to 20 penalty units (One penalty unit is currently $165.22, from 1 July 2019 to 30 June 2020)
✓ Need to attend a court hearing
✓ Complete a drink driver behaviour change program
✓ Drive with an alcohol interlock connected to your car’s ignition after you regain your licence for a minimum period of 6 months
How much is ‘safe’ to drink?
You might have heard of the common recommendation of one drink in the first hour and one every hour after. This is supposed to be a way to stay under the 0.05 BAC limit.
However, this does not work.
There are a number of factors that influence your body’s ability to process alcohol. One day you could be perfectly fine. But the next time you drink the same amount, it could be the reason you don’t make it home.
The safe amount of alcohol to drink before driving, is zero.
Paying the extra $20 to call an Uber, sleeping over at your friends house, or just missing out on some fun for the night is worth it.
Have you been caught drink driving? Get in touch with a specialised traffic lawyer for legal assistance.