Alcohol and driving

Alcohol slows down the speed at which messages travel from the brain to the rest of your body. This affects your physical and mental functioning. Even small amounts of alcohol can impact your perceptions, judgement and reaction time. Alcohol can also affect your decision making ability, meaning you can become overconfident and likely to take risks. Not only is driving over the limit dangerous, it’s a criminal act with severe penalties. Losing your licence is mandatory. The safest choice is not to drive if you’re drinking alcohol.
The safest thing to do is not to drive at all when drinking alcohol
alcohol and driving2
What is a breath/blood alcohol concentration (BAC)?
Your BAC is an indicator of how much alcohol is in your body. It can be measured in your breath or blood. Your BAC is measured as the number of grams of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood. A BAC of 0.05% means there are 0.05 grams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood in your body.
Things you should consider
  • Your BAC starts rising as soon as you start drinking.
  • Your BAC is affected by how much you drink, the time period in which you drink, your weight, fitness, gender and when you last ate.
  • It takes up to an hour after you’ve stopped drinking for your BAC to reach its peak.
  • If you drink a large amount of alcohol, you may still be physically and mentally affected by alcohol the following day.
  • The safest option is not to drive if you’re drinking alcohol.
  • Plan how you will get home before you start drinking.

Our sources

Information in this section has been adapted from the following sources: