UK Law – Alcohol & Driving

Alcohol and Driving

The cradle of civilisation is recognised as the lands between the Tigris and Euphrates known as Mesopotamia, in modern times, as Iraq, and part of Turkey.

In these lands society and civilisation came into being with ordered agriculture and animal domestication some 8,000 years ago.

By 5,000 years ago, houses made of bricks and mortar, and stone built roads were in existence, their existence still in evidence today.

Around this time evidence shows that vines were being grown for wine production, and by 3,500 B.C. beer was being brewed.

A little after this time, it would seem that the wheel was first invented. This does indicate that alcohol predates the wheel, but also, that as a race, we have had somewhere in the order of 4,000 years to get our priorities in order.

Moving forward, with the invention of the motor car and its rapid commercial uptake in the last days of the nineteenth century, to September the 10th 1897, and a 25 year old cab driver was arrested after driving his cab into a wall.

He was taken to court, found guilty of drinking and driving, and fined. A new phrase was born, and an awareness that alcohol and the motor car were never going to make a good combination.

Today, “drink driving” has reached a sort of social taboo, where almost any level of alcohol intake, and then driving, is considered anti-social behaviour.

Most people will have had some experience of alcohol, and apart from the fact that in loose terms it is a drug, and therefore carries associated potential risks, most recognise that it has a time and a place, and anything to do with driving is not one of them.

Alcohol intake is reckoned by units, with one unit being the equivalent of half a pint of standard strength beer or lager, a glass of wine, or one pub size measure of spirits.

The intake is expressed as mg (milligrams) of alcohol to ml (millilitres) of blood. One to two units, a half to one pint of beer, will give a reading around 20-50mg/100ml with little noticeable effect.

Three to four units, one and a half to two pints of beer, 50 to 80mg/100ml, will usually give a sense of relaxation or stimulation, and is around the legal limit of 80mg/100ml of drink driving, and four units may put some people over it. If you have been caught drinking and driving, can help defend your licence.

The actual concentration of alcohol to blood varies with people’s tolerance to it, body mass and weight, stomach contents, and possibly sex.

Woman as a general rule carry less weight than men and have smaller bodies which can result in the same intake as a man, giving a higher blood alcohol concentration.