Marcus Rockey

Marcus Rockey

The Used Car Guy

Authored by Marcus Rockey, The Used Car Guy is a UK automotive blog for motorists that are buying or selling a used car. Free guidance, advice and information born through 26 years of direct experience in the used car industry.

UCG has been voted in the top 10 UK automotive blogs for 2016 and 2017.

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Driving your car after a night on the razzle

Letting your hair down without breaking the law

By now, we are all very familiar with the dangers associated with drink-driving. We can have a great night out, get a taxi home and sleep off most of the alcohol in our system. But, while we know we must never drink and drive, many motorists are unsure of when it’s safe to drive after a night of boozing.

Surprisingly, many drivers still don’t know that drink from the night before can easily lead to being over the legal limit the following morning, even after a sleep for six hours or more… Brake, the road safe charity, found that one out of five motorists confesses to driving the morning after a night of heavy drinking.

alcoholic driving and safe legal limits

Dr. Paul Wallace, Drinkaware’s Chief Medical Adviser, reports that how much alcohol is in your system is dependent on three factors:

  • How much alcohol you have consumed
  • How long it took you to consume the alcohol
  • How long it takes your body to eliminate it

Breaking Down Alcohol – How long does it take your body?

While everyone’s body differs slightly, the general rule is that for every unit you drink, it takes about 60 minutes for your body to break it down. However, this can vary depending on your gender, weight, age, metabolism, what type of alcohol you were drinking, how much food you have had to eat, and whether you are taking medicine, as well as the type of medicine.

The Truth about Drinking Coffee and Water to Sober Up

Although you may have heard that drinking lots of coffee will help sober you up, this is NOT true. Neither will drinking cup after cup of water or eating a huge meal. While rehydrating yourself is a good thing, it takes time for alcohol to leave your body.

When is it safe to get behind the wheel again, after drinking?

There’s no definite answer, but there is a rough guide you can follow. If you drink a large glass of wine (250ml/ 3 units), you should wait around 3 hours before getting behind the wheel. If you have consumed a weak pint of cider, lager, or beer (3.6%- though very few drinks are this week anymore), it will take around 2 hours for your body to breakdown the alcohol. If you drink a higher-strength (5.2%) cider, lager, or beer, you’ll need to wait around 3 hours for your body to breakdown the alcohol in your system.

Understanding the units in an alcoholic drink

While there is some confusion about this, the NHS reports there is approximately:

  • One single measure of spirits – 1 unit
  • One pint of lager, beer or cider, low strength (3.6%) – 2 units
  • 175ml glass of wine of average strength (12%) – 2.1 units
  • One pint of lager, beer or cider, high strength (5.2%) – 3 units
  • 250ml glass of wine of average strength (12%) – 3 units

A Look at the UK’s Legal Driving Limits

In England, Wales, and Northern Ireland, the drink drive limit is:

  • Micrograms per 100 millilitres of breath: 35
  • Milligrammes per 100 millilitres of blood: 80
  • Milligrammes per 100 millilitres of urine: 107

It’s impossible to determine how much alcohol you can consume whilst remaining within the legal limit to drive. To ensure you are safe to drive, it is recommended that you keep tabs on what you’ve been drinking and wait until your body has had plenty of time to break it down.

The Used Car Guy

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