What Are The Consequences Of Drunk Driving?
Between 1979 and 2014, in the UK an average of 666 people were killed each year as a result of a drink driving related accidents. These statistics have slowly decreased over the years due to stricter laws, but people still need to be aware of the devastating problems that can occur during and after drink driving. This blog will take you through the legal consequences and personal consequences you will face if you have a car accident.
How much can I drink before going over the limit?
This is sometimes a difficult question to answer because the amount is based upon how much alcohol per your amount of millilitres of blood. The amount that an alcohol-by-volume calculator will detect will depend on your weight, age, sex and metabolism. Your stress levels and the amount you’ve eaten can also affect the results from an alcohol-by-volume calculator. Because alcohol consumption is difficult to measure, people tend to track how many units of alcohol they are drinking- which is usually on the bottle or can.
If you’re ‘out and about’, it can be difficult to track how much alcohol you’ve actually consumed, especially if you’re mixing drinks.
Even then, drinking even 1 drink can make driving dangerous. An estimated 65 road deaths per year are caused by drivers who are under the drink-drive limit but still have alcohol in their blood. To stay safe and for peace of mind, it is advised that when you drive, you should avoid alcohol entirely.
Why is drink driving dangerous?
Let’s start with the science behind it! A depressant is a drug that lowers neurotransmission levels and reduces stimulation in various areas of the brain. Unfortunately for alcohol lovers, alcohol is a type of depressant. Well…why does this depressant affect my driving skills? These depressants mean that the speed of transmission between neurons gets reduced and reaction speed deteriorates.
Certain regions of the brain are affected by alcohol including the cerebellum, the reticular activating system, the hippocampus and the pre-frontal cortex. The cerebellum is responsible for motor control and balance and is located at the back of the brain. When under the influence of alcohol, people will be unsteady, which is why before breathalysers were invented, police used to ask drivers to walk in a straight line to see how unsteady they were walking.
Alcohol can also slow the function of the eye muscle, altering eye movement and visual perception which could result in blurred vision. To make things even worse, night vision can also be impaired- which happens to be when most people are at the pub!
When you’re drink driving you’re putting people in danger
When drink driving, you will not only put yourself in danger but also your friends, family or acquaintances in the car with you. Not only that, you risk putting pedestrians and drivers around you at risk. You could get away lucky with a scratch or a broken arm, but more often than not it is fatal.
Legal consequences of drink driving
If you get caught drink driving by the police, there are a number of repercussions including:
- Having to pay a fine
- Having your car insurance taken away
- Losing your job
- Losing your independence
- Getting a criminal record (which can make certain travel destinations difficult)
- Spending up to 14 years in prison if you cause death from careless driving
Overall, would you be able to live with the guilt if you put someone in a life-threatening position while drink driving?