One beer or glass of wine could put drivers over the alchohol limit

2015-12-15 06:00

EXPERTS warn that drinkers should know their limits before driving.

According to the Automobile Association of South Africa (AA) the legal limit is a breath alcohol content of 0,24mg per 1 000ml or a blood alcohol limit of 0,05g per 100ml.

But what does this mean for the motorist? Even though the AA says drinking and driving is a definite no-no, because it is a proven fact that driving is impaired after consuming even one unit of alcohol, there are drinking behaviours that should keep you within the legal limit before you get behind the wheel.

Because the human body can only process one unit of alcohol per hour, the rule of thumb — according to the AA — is a maximum consumption of 10 ml of pure alcohol per hour based on an adult weighing 65 kg.

This is equal to two thirds of a beer or cider with a five percent alcohol content, and for wine drinkers, a maximum of 75 ml of reds or whites with an alcohol content of 12% or 14% per hour.

Whiskey and brandy connoisseurs can drink up to one 25 ml tot per hour.

“Alcohol significantly slows reaction time and distorts your vision, and the effects of a heavy night of drinking could well affect your driving ability the next morning, and you may still even be over the legal limit.

“After only one unit of alcohol, your chances of being in an accident are doubled, and when you are at the legal limit of 0,24 mg, you are four times more likely to be in an accident.”

The AA said motorists need to ask if it’s really worth risking the consequences before drinking and driving.

The organisation also warned against quick-fix myths — like drinking coffee, taking a cold shower or drinking a litre of water.

“Once the alcohol is in your system your liver is going to need time to process it, and restricting yourself to only one unit per hour will give your body the time it needs to stay sober in the eyes of the law,” said the AA.

— Fever Reporter.

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