As the clock ticks down to the start of the 2018 FIFA World Cup (14 June – 15 July), the festival of football is set to capture the nation once again. 64 games are due to take place over 32 days and supporters, friends and even non-believers will come together at home and in pubs and clubs to enjoy the matches whilst partaking of varying quantities of alcohol.
The 'Morning After' campaign provides a timely reminder to drivers of how long it takes for alcohol to pass through the body, in a bid to help them avoid getting behind the wheel while over the limit the morning after drinking alcohol. On average it takes around one hour per unit of alcohol, though this can vary depending on a number of factors. Because of this, there is a real risk that people who would not dream of driving after drinking may still be unwittingly over the drink drive limit the morning after. This includes people going about everyday activities such as driving to work, doing the school run or going to see friends.
There are strict penalties if you are convicted of drink driving, including:
- a minimum 12 month driving ban
- a criminal record
- a hefty fine
- up to six months in prison
- an endorsement on your licence for 11 years
Calculations based on advice on NHS Choices:
One unit is equivalent to 10ml or 8g of pure alcohol. There are roughly:
- 2.1 units in a standard glass (175ml) of average-strength wine (12%)
- 3 units in a large glass (250ml) of average-strength wine (12%)
- 2 units in a pint of low-strength lager, beer or cider (3.6%)
- 3 units in a pint of higher-strength lager, beer or cider (5.2%)
- 1 unit in a single measure of spirits (25ml)
The morning after campaign, which has been running for several years, is designed to help normally responsible people avoid the risk of a drink drive conviction or even worse, cause a collision or injuries whilst still over the limit with the assistance of their ‘morning after calculator’.
The ‘morning after calculator’ allows one hour for each unit of alcohol, plus an additional hour for the first drink to allow for the alcohol to enter the bloodstream. It then rounds up the calculation to the nearest half hour.
The calculator bases its calculation from the time you stop, not when you start drinking. Some people say this is over-cautious, but surely it’s better to be safe than sorry.
The 'hours before driving' calculation is not based on the drink drive limit - it is the length of time when the alcohol in the drinks you've consumed is likely to have passed through your body. This is when it is suggested you will be 'safe to drive'.
How to use the calculator
Simply add up the drinks you consumed the night before or better still, use the calculator smartphone app to keep track of what you’re drinking while you’re out. The calculator will then store them and give you a rough calculation of when you will be safe to drive.
Please note this calculator is not intended to help you work out how much you can drink on a night out before driving home. If you are drinking any amount of alcohol on a night out you should leave the car at home and make alternative arrangements.
What it will do is enable you to calculate roughly when it will be safe for you to drive the morning after drinking alcohol. It can also help you calculate when to stop drinking alcohol if you have to drive the following morning.
If you require legal advice on any issues surrounding drink driving please call us on 01616 966 229.
By Samantha Ord, litigation executive in the road traffic accidents team.