Drink driving and the morning after - do you put your career at risk?


Driving while under the influence of alcohol is one of the biggest mistakes you can ever make. It puts your life, and the lives of others, at risk.

However, there are people who risk making this mistake because of a reckless attitude, their own perceptions or lack of knowledge concerning the implications of driving while intoxicated.

For example, it is common to hear a driver say, “I just had a couple of drinks.” Sadly it is those “couple of drinks” that resulted in over 9,967 deaths in 2014.

Alcohol is a drug that disrupts the functioning of the brain.

When consumed, alcohol is quickly absorbed into the body and enters the bloodstream. Initially, when a person starts drinking, they feel self-confident, relaxed and even sociable. However, the drink causes slowed reflexes, impairs thinking and decreases ability to control motor response.

Considering that you need your motor skills and brain to drive safely, driving while drunk inhibits your alertness and increases your risk of getting into an accident. 

Drinking will reduce your reaction time as alcohol decreases your ability to promptly respond to a situation. Alcohol disrupts your vision as it slows eye muscle movement as well as visual perception leading to blurred vision. When you drive at night while drunk, there is a high risk that your night vision and colour perception has been impaired. 

The Morning After

The length of time that alcohol stays in the body is much misunderstood and will obviously depend on how much a person drinks. If you have ever experienced a time when you had more than your “fair share” of alcohol, then you may recall a “buzz” feeling in the brain that became worse.

This is because at a certain point, the blood and tissues begin storing the excessive alcohol that has not been metabolized. If this occurs frequently, then brain and tissue damage are likely to occur. 

Alcohol requires little digestion and is easily absorbed in the body. Once in the stomach, 20% of the drink goes to the blood vessels whereas the remaining 80% goes to the small intestines and later ends up in other blood vessels.

Once it enters the blood stream, the alcohol travels to the liver where it is metabolised.

Experts state that alcohol metabolises at the same rate for everybody, regardless of age, sex or gender. On average, this metabolism takes one hour for every ounce of alcohol. For most people, one ounce of alcohol results in .015 blood-alcohol concentration.

In real terms – someone who has had a bottle of wine over the course of an evening will retain alcohol in their bloodstream for a good 12 hours.

This means that there is a high likelihood that you are over the limit and at risk by driving at any stage during the morning after even if your drinking finished at midnight.

Is it worth putting your career, life and the lives of others at risk? Call a cab.

And remember, Mayfair cares.