One-drink motorists three times more likely to be in road accident even if they pass breathalyzer test


Published on 19 October 2015 by Gill

Being under the legal drink driving limit does not necessarily mean you are safe to drive your car or ride your motorcycle home.

Road users are being warned that they are three times more likely to be involved in a traffic related accident even after consuming just one drink versus being sober.

Statistics show that on average 3,000 people are killed or seriously injured each year in drink-drive collisions, accounting for 16% of all road deaths in Britain.

Suzannah Robin, alcohol safety expert and Sales & Training Director at AlcoDigital – a UK  supplier of breathalyzers, commented: “Many people believe that they are still safe to drive after just one drink. 

“However, what they don’t realise is even if they believe they are under the legal limit or it is the morning after, they are still at a much higher risk of being involved in a driving related incident than if they were sober.  In fact nearly one in five people who are convicted of drink-driving are caught the morning after.”

It’s a sobering thought, and one which leaves experts and drinking charities urging for the legal limit in England and Wales to be reduced from 80mg Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) to fall in line with Scotland’s ‘zero tolerance’ level of 50mg BAC.

Robin added: “The only safe level when driving is zero.  This also applies to the morning after.  We are urging all drivers to be responsible and make alternative arrangements for getting home if they plan to drink.  A personal breathalyzer kept at home will help you to determine whether there is any alcohol in your system and if you are fit to drive the next day.”

In the UK, the alcohol limit equates to different amounts of drink depending on a number of factors, including how fast you drink it, your body size, how much you’ve eaten your gender and even your emotional health.

Common impacts of alcohol consumption, which can begin to occur after one drink, include:

  • affecting judgement and reasoning
  • slowing down reactions
  • upsetting sense of balance and coordination
  • impairing vision and hearing
  • losing concentration and feeling drowsy.

With this revelation in mind, drivers and motorcyclists may wish to think again when asked if they want one drink for the road.

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(Photo credit: Shropshire Star)