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I can drink and drink if I stick to the 5 and drive rule. 

If I eat before drinking alcohol, I can drive home. 

These misconceptions ignore the complex ways alcohol affects individuals differently and often lead to dangerous roads for us all. 

This blog dives into the myths surrounding drink driving, what BAC is, and how a drink driving limit calculator can help all drivers. 

What is BAC?

BAC stands for blood alcohol content and is tested via blood samples taken by the police. 

The legal BAC limit is 80mg of alcohol in 100ml of blood.

However, this can be influenced by a number of factors. 

Factors that influence BAC

BAC varies from person to person and is dependent on metabolism, weight, tolerance, and gender.

Those with a bigger build who drink often, are likely to have a lower BAC than those who are slimmer and don’t consume alcohol regularly. 

The impact of alcohol on driving ability 

It’s illegal to drink and drive due to the effects it has on our ability to drive. 

Alcohol can decrease concentration, impact vision, slow down reaction times, and give us a false sense of security. 

This can lead to misreading signs, not giving enough distance between cars, speeding, and other dangerous mistakes that can lead to road accidents. 

How is BAC tested?

If you’re displaying signs of dangerous driving, there’s a high chance you’ll get pulled over by the police and tested for drink driving. 

Initially, a breathalyser test will be conducted. However, this may not give an accurate result, or you may not be able to take part because of medical reasons or lack of a breath test machine. 

If needed, a BAC test will then follow, which involves taking a blood sample and analysing the alcohol percentage within. 

What happens if I am found guilty of drink driving?

The police cannot charge offenders unless a blood test has been carried out, but if you are found over the BAC limit, you will be charged with one of the following, depending on the number of offences and how much over the limit you are: 

  • A fine of up to £5000
  • A prison sentence of up to 6 months  
  • A mandatory driving disqualification
  • You could also be considered a high-risk offender if it’s not your first time being caught

How to use a drink driving limit calculator

A drink driving limit calculator determines how many hours you should not drive for depending on how many units of alcohol are consumed. 

MAJ Law’s version allows you to input how much you’ve had a drink, including larger, cider, wine, champagne, spirits, and cocktails, to give you an indication of how long to stay off the road. 

It’s important to stress that this will be impacted by the above-mentioned factors, so the results should be seen as a general guideline rather than a precise measurement.

Individual differences mean that the actual time needed to sober up enough to drive safely can vary significantly from person to person. Always err on the side of caution and consider alternatives to driving if there’s any doubt about your sobriety or ability to drive legally and safely. 

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