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Alcohol

Bottles of alcohol

Drinking alcohol interferes with safe driving

The consumption of alcoholic drinks leads to physical and psychological changes which have a seriously detrimental effect on safe driving. The effects include:

  • False sense of self-confidence.
  • Changes in reaction speeds.
  • Impairment of reaction capability.
  • Reduced concentration.
  • Psychomotor alterations and disturbances.
  • Failures of perception.

If you go out at night and drink remember you can always use public transport. If you're with a group of friends, a good plan is to designate a driver who doesn't drink.

Legislation on alcohol levels

Vehicle drivers in general, including cyclists, must not drive if the level of alcohol in their blood exceeds 0.5 grams per litre (0.25 milligrams per litre of air exhaled).

The drivers of the following vehicles must not drive if the level of alcohol in their blood exceeds 0.3 grams per litre (0.15 milligrams per litre of air exhaled):

  • Drivers of goods vehicles with a maximum authorised mass exceeding 3,500 kg.
  • Vehicles for the transport of passengers with more than 9 seats.
  • Vehicles used to transport school children or minors.
  • _
  • Emergency service vehicles.
  • Vehicles used for special transport for the disabled.
  • When the driver has held a driving licence for less than 2 years.

It is a criminal offence to drive under the influence of alcohol, and in all cases if the level of alcohol in the blood exceeds 1.2 grams per litre (0.60 milligrams per litre of air exhaled).

Limits to alcohol levels

Advice

  • Drinking alcohol gives a false sense of security and weakens your powers of concentration, just the opposite of what you need to drive safely.
  • It is not true that having a shower or drinking coffee eliminates the effects of alcohol. Coffee does have some effects to counter those of alcohol but it worsens the state of the person who has been drinking and a shower just gives a false sense of security.
  • It's not true that the day after you've been drinking there's no problem. Eight hours after drinking, if you've been sleeping, the level of alcohol in your blood may still be high. This is especially likely if your consumption of alcohol is concentrated at the weekend.
  • If you go out at night and drink remember you can always use public transport. If you're with a group of friends, a good plan is to designate a driver who doesn't drink.
Driver in a test

Do not drive if the level of alcohol in your blood exceeds 0.5 grams per litre.