DRINK DRIVING – THE FACTS
Drinking kills driving skills.
Alcohol affects decision-making, reaction times, speed and distance judgments, concentration and perception, balance and alertness. It can also give a driver a false sense of confidence, which may encourage risk-taking.
• With a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.05, the risk of being involved in a crash doubles.
• With a BAC of 0.08, you are seven times more likely to crash.
• With a BAC of 0.15, you are 25 times more likely to crash.
• In WA in 2011/12, more than 15,000 people were booked for drink driving.
• In 2012, alcohol was a factor in 19% of fatal crashes attended by WA Police.
• Of police-attended fatal crashes in 2012, the highest proportions of drivers/riders with illegal BACs were men aged 40-49 and 30-39, followed by younger men aged 25-29.
HOW DO I KNOW IF I’M OVER THE LIMIT?
To be safe, if you are going to drive, it’s best if you don’t drink anything.
• Arrange a skipper
• Ask someone to pick you up
• Call a cab
• Take public transport
• Stay overnight
In short, you should plan ahead. It saves you from making a bad decision which could cost you your life or land you in jail.
It’s hard to work out your blood alcohol concentration (BAC). Lots of factors affect it, including:
• the amount of alcohol you drink
• the period over which alcohol was consumed
• your body mass
• whether or not you have eaten
• your fitness levels
• the health of your liver.
IF YOU DO HAVE A DRINK, USE THIS GUIDE:
• Men should not drink more than two standard drinks in the first hour and one standard drink every following hour.
• Women should not drink more than one standard drink every hour.
• Learners and P-platers are not allowed to have any alcohol in their system.
WHAT’S A STANDARD DRINK?
It’s probably a lot less than you think, and that could get you in trouble.
Middie of mid-strength beer (3-4% alc) is about 0.8 standard drinks per 285mL.
Can of mid-strength beer (3-4% alc) is about 1.0 standard drinks per 375mL.
Middie of full-strength beer (4-6% alc) is about 1.0 standard drinks per 285mL.
Can of full-strength beer (4-6% alc) is about 1.5 standard drinks per 375mL.
Wine (10-14% alc) is 1.0 standard drink per 100mL. But be warned: most restaurants and bars (and people drinking at home) pour much bigger glasses than 100mL.
Spirits (37-43% alc) is 1.0 standard drinks per 30mL. Be warned, ‘free pours’ or people making drinks at home usually use much more than 30mL so you can easily lose track.
Pre-mixed drink (5% alc) is 1.5 standard drink per 375mL can or bottle.
These tips are adapted from material compiled by the WA Office of Road Safety. www.ors.wa.gov.au