Friday, 24 November 2017

One For The Road

Being breathalyzed the other week was completely new [and unexpected] experience for me. I very rarely drink alcohol - but at our Ferndown Fete last summer, a member of the Dorset Police was handing out little cards from the Morning After organisation. I tucked it behind the clock when I got home - and it resurfaced last week when I was moving stuff for the floor fitting. It was quite interesting to read, and I was surprised about how long alcohol takes to pass through the system [and therefore cease to affect one's driving]
For instance, it asks this simple question -
After drinking, when will you be safe to drive?
1 Bottle of wine 13 hrs [after 1pm if you are drinking till midnight]
2 Pints of strong lager 7 hrs
3 Double Gins 9 hrs
4 Pints of bitter 11 hrs
5 Pints of cider 14 hrs

It takes a lot longer than most people think for alcohol to be properly processed by the body. On average it takes around one hour per unit of alcohol, though this can vary depending on a number of factors. In the past I have been to school staff Christmas parties, where colleagues have certainly drunk that much, and then driven in to work the next morning! [I'm not sure some of them were fit to be in the classroom, let alone get behind the steering wheel]
The‘Morning After’ app can help you check when you’ll be safe to drive after a night out - it’s free to download from Google Play and the App Store. @morningafter

The card says that 2 alcopops, or 250ml glass of 15% wine, or 1½ pints of beer, or a can of 7.5% lager, or 3 single gin shots - any of these can take up to 4 hours to pass through your body - and before that, you are not legally safe to drive again. I think I shall stick to tea, coffee and my alco-free cocktails! Wherever you are celebrating this Christmas, do enjoy yourself, but please be careful - and for your own safety, and that of others, please don't drink and drive.


  1. You may be aware that for many Chinese the effects are even worse. Up to 50% lack the gene that produces an enzyme to turn acetaldehyde, a by-product of alcohol, to acetate which the liver finds easier to metabolise. This produces a facial flush among other effects. I knew someone who would not risk taking communion wine because of this. My Chinese wife doesn't appear to lack the gene.

  2. This is good information, Angela. I don't drink any alcohol, so I don't worry about it, but, I'm afraid that so many other drivers might be driving under the influence, especially during the holiday season.


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