Alcohol and drugs – in any amount – will mean you are ‘under the influence’ and will impair your ability to drive safely.
This is not about legal limits or whether or not you’d fail a roadside breath or drug wipe test, how much food you’ve had, or what sex/age/weight you are etc. It’s about the simple reality that if you consume alcohol or drugs in any amount, you will be more of a danger to yourself and others if you get behind the wheel.
- Perceptions. If you’ve had any alcohol or drugs, you are less likely to spot hazards or important changes in the first place. You may not, for example, notice that there’s someone on a bike just ahead of you.
- Interpretation. Alcohol and drugs affect your ability to make sense of a situation. Even if you’ve seen the person on the bike, you may not translate that into a need to take appropriate action, such as giving them plenty of space as you overtake.
- Reactions. Should something happen – the person on the bike wobbles, or hits a pot-hole, or moves position – your ability to react (to slow down, or do an emergency stop, for example) will be slower.
So don’t drive.
But how long for? What about the next morning? Alcohol and drugs don’t leave your system any faster just because you’ve had a few hours’ sleep, and police regularly arrest people who still have alcohol in their system the following morning.
If you have been drinking, this ‘Morning After Calculator’ will give you some idea about when it’s safe to drive. This works out how roughly long it will take the alcohol to pass through your body, which is the only way to be completely safe.
Here are some examples – or why not go online and have a play with difference scenarios yourself?
Q1: You drink 2 standard glasses of wine (15%). How many hours (from last sip) until you are safe to drive?
Q2: 5 pints of Fosters?
Q3 2 mojitos, a bottle of wine, a glass of fizz?
A1: 6.5 hours
A2: 12.5 hours
A3: 16.5 hours