If you haven't heard already, there have been additional laws (and very controversial laws!) passed in a bid to combat drink driving in Ireland. These new laws have come into action since midnight 25/10/2018. The new laws will mean that if a driver is found to be over the legal limit, they will be banned from driving for 3 months and receive a fix penalty fine - immediately. The current legal limit for fully licenced drivers is as follows:
So what do these figures mean in relation to units of alcohol? A simple infographic that Drink Aware Ireland produced illustrates the legal limit that you are allowed to have in your system while operating a vehicle. Some people think one unit is equal to one drink however this couldn't be further from the truth! If you were to meet your friends for a single pint and proceeded to drive after that, you technically would be over the limit and therefore be in the position to be prosecuted under the new laws. Some might consider this harsh, but it has been proven that any level of alcohol in your system can have some effect on your awareness and driving skills.
This is a step in the right direction and one that has been received positively amongst TD's and members of the Dail. Minister Shane Ross has spoken on the matter by saying “It is totally unacceptable to drink or take drugs and drive and any amount of alcohol impairs driving. When someone decides to drink or take drugs and drive they put members of their community at risk. Nobody has the right to do that, so please never ever drink or take drugs and drive.”
There is an endless list of drink driving myths that we have decided to clarify for you. There is NO WAY to sober up properly, other than allowing the passage of time. It takes your body one hour to break down one unit of alcohol so you can imagine that if you went to the pub and had 6 pints, this would equate to 12 hours of alcohol break down time needed to be fully sober again.
Myth 1: Having a cold shower or drinking coffee will sober me up
This is a common myth that has no factual evidence to back it up. Once again the body needs to break down all the alcohol so having a shower or a coffee will not have an effect on this. These two methods simply make you more alert as they are shocking the body with cold water or caffeine.
Myth 2: Eating a big breakfast will soak up the alcohol.
Once again this is wrong, there is no way to soak up the alcohol as it's in your bloodstream. This is a common misconception which leads to many offences on our roads especially the morning after a night of drinking.
Myth 3: Putting pennies and copper coins in your mouth will help you pass a breathalyser test.
This is another “trick” that some people think actually works! They are under the illusion that these magical 5 cent coins are going to be your saving grace when they're over the limit. I'm afraid to break it to you all that this is utter rubbish! If you can find me one person who legitimately passed a breath test using this technique, I'll eat my hat.. (and you'll look like a human ATM when you spit coins out while blowing into a breathalyser)
Myth 4: Take Alka-Seltzer or Dioralyte and you'll be right as rain.
These products are used by many as a means of rehydration which does help you feel better after a night out. While you may feel better, these have no actual effect on the level of alcohol in your system. So unless you've waited the recommended time before driving you still may be over the limit.
November can be a nominated month for the masses to go “off the drink” in preparation for Christmas period, filled with sessions. This means that many people will switch to the non-alcoholic beers so as to not feel left out when they are meeting groups of friends. These non alcoholic beers are a great substitute, but the taste can be somewhat off when compared to regular beer. While it's great to be avoiding drinking regular alcohol, a word of warning is needed at the same time. With such a low legal limit for drink driving it's important to keep on an eye on the amount of these non alcoholic beers you are consuming. Take for example, the Erdinger non alcoholic beer - this has a 0.4% level of alcohol in it. If you were to have a few of these, they then would technically put you over the legal time, so just be cautious when you are out.
Overall we think the new laws are a positive thing for the country, which will hopefully decrease the levels of road deaths in Ireland. It's hard to resist a drink when you're out and about, particularly when you've the car, but following the advice of “Never Drink And Drive”, could really save your life, so playing it safe can only be a good thing. If you must drink and drive and you plan to stay under the legal limit, we’d recommend keeping a portable breathalyser in your car. These are great when it comes to giving you an indication of the alcohol levels in your bloodstream and might just help you decide to call a taxi instead! And one last thing - don't drink and drive, ever!
As always, safe driving!
MicksGarage.com, The Car Parts Experts.