During the holiday season, we hear the same message being constantly repeated: drink or drive, you have to choose. However, drunk driving continues to be the cause of many deaths each year.
Nonetheless, we can’t repeat ourselves enough, driving and alcohol is an explosive cocktail. One of the important rules of the highway code is to be in control of your vehicle, when you have consumed alcohol you are no longer in control of your driving. Alcohol should always be consumed in moderation. However, when you know that you will be driving it is best to refrain altogether. Alcohol has significant and potentially fatal consequences that need to be considered before driving, such as:
– a decrease in attention,
– a decreased field of vision,
– poor coordination of movements and therefore reflexes,
– an overestimation of self,
– a slowing down or loss of reflexes,
– altered senses (blurred vision, poor hearing, etc.),
– a distorted assessment of distance.
Moreover, the road is a shared space, other users can be involved in a road accident without being responsible for it. These other users can lose their lives because of a drunk driver.
Drinking and driving is severely sanctioned by law. We know the consequences of alcohol, but some people still drive while drunk, here are some solutions to think about if you have drunk too much:
– Designate a responsible driver to stay sober,
– Take a taxi or use a ride-sharing service,
– Sleep on site,
– Walk home if you are not far away,
– Set up a key box to prevent people who have been drinking too much from leaving on their own,
– Sleep in a hotel near the event of the evening.
Protect your loved ones and prevent them from driving if they have been drinking. If you see someone intoxicated about to get behind the wheel, be a good samaritan and stop them… Make sure the holidays don’t turn into a disaster! And, most importantly, remember, if you feel fit to drive again, blow a breathalyzer to find out before you start, to ensure your blood alcohol level is below the legal limit. Unfortunately, alcohol-related road accidents are often very serious: they account for 30.8% of fatal road accidents. In 2011 alone, 1,150 people died in a road accidents caused by alcohol.
It is important to know that the alcohol level significantly increases the risk of a fatal accident:
– 0.5 g/litre of blood: the risk is multiplied by 2.
– 0.8 g/l : the risk is multiplied by 10.
– 1.2 g/l : the risk is multiplied by 35.
Here is some additional information to bear in mind: During a police check when a blood alcohol test is conducted, the driver is obliged to submit to the test, under penalty of prosecution. The penalties under the legislation are severe, ranging from imprisonment, fines, vehicle confiscation or licence revocation. Not only is drunk driving thoughtless, it is dangerous for yourself and others.
You have to respect the legal limit. When it comes to alcohol, we are not equal. Do not rely on what your friend, family member, or anyone else consumes to set your own benchmark. In addition to the speed at which a person drinks, sex, weight and muscle mass determine how much alcohol they can drink before they feel the effects. So please do what you can to ensure that you and your loved ones drink responsibly this holiday season. In addition, alcohol may interact with some medications that you might be taking. Which is why we invite you to consult your doctor or pharmacist to ensure that your medication doesn’t negatively interact with alcohol.
PS: Check out our Prevention Updates HERE!