How do you know if you are over the limit to drive and how do we stop ourselves from drink driving?
Going out and having a few drinks should be fun and shouldn’t come at the expense of your driver’s licence. All it takes is one too many drinks and you could be off the road. That’s why it’s vitally important that you take every precaution possible to avoid this scenario. Here’s how to tell if you or a friend are over the limit and how to stop yourself or them from drink driving.
Speech is altered
Sometimes it’s easier to notice if your friend is speaking differently than they normally would rather than yourself. Telltale signs would be talking faster, slower, mumbling words, or saying things they normally wouldn’t. If you or your friend are showing any of these signs, neither of you shouldn’t be getting behind the wheel.
Smell of Alcohol
Again, you are unlikely to smell alcohol on yourself, but you will be able to smell it on someone else, especially if you haven’t been drinking yourself. This is a sign that they’ve had too much to drink and shouldn’t be driving.
You’ve had more than the recommended alcohol intake
Generally speaking, the alcohol limit is 2 standard drinks for a man in the first hour and 1 thereafter. For a female, it is one standard drink per hour. If you’ve consumed more than this or your drink sizes have been larger than the standard recommendation, you are not fit to drive. It’s a good idea to avoid shots as they can get you intoxicated fast.
How to stop yourself or your friend from driving while under the influence
It’s never fun trying to track how much you’ve drunk, and you can never be certain anyway, so here are some other ways to prevent getting caught drink driving without having to worry about how many drinks you’ve had:
- Get an uber/taxi home
- Prearrange for someone to pick you
- Have a designated driver for the night
- Stay at a friend’s house or hotel for the night
If you have to drive but want to have some drinks, here’s how you can reduce the chances of being over the limit:
Don’t go over the recommended drink limit
Know your limits and stick to them.
Only drink standard-sized drinks
Ensure that the drinks you are consuming are one standard drink each. This is where some people can come undone. They think they are doing the right thing only to discover that their ‘one drink’ is actually one and a half or more. You’ll find that most pre-made alcohol cans or bottles appear to be one serve however if you check on the back of the label, you’ll see how many standard drinks it equates to. Many are more than one standard drink. If you are making your own drinks, ensure that you are using a standard shot glass rather than free pouring what you think is shots worth of alcohol into the cup.
Drink plenty of water when having a few drinks
Ensuring you’re hydrated when drinking is key. Alcohol dehydrates the body and can lead to a hangover the next day. Even having a few drinks and no water can leave you feeling less than vibrant the next day. Try alternating each alcoholic drink with water.
Wait for a while after drinking before driving
Rather than driving immediately after your last drink, it’s better to have a few glasses of water and wait for a while. The longer you wait the more time your body has to process the alcohol in your system. If you don’t know if you’ll be fine to drive after an hour or so and you’re ready to go home, consider getting a taxi or asking a friend for a ride home instead.
Ensure you don’t eat on an empty stomach
Eating before you drink or while you are drinking is a good way to keep your blood alcohol levels down and it can minimise your hangover too. Some good food options include high water-based foods such as cucumber and watermelon. Other options such as chicken are high in protein and it breaks down relatively slowly, decreasing the rate that the body absorbs alcohol.
Leave your car at home
If you know that you will want to drive after a few drinks because it’s easier and your car is already where you are at, leave your car at home and get a lift with a friend or jump on public transport. This way there’s no way you’ll get caught drink driving when you don’t have a car to drive home in.
You can never be too sure
When you’ve had a few drinks you can never know for certain (unless you take a breathalyser test) that you will be under the limit when you decide to drive. While you may be fine, you may also not be and the consequences can be life-changing.
With widespread awareness and warnings against drink driving, along with plenty of alternative modes of transport, drink driving isn’t tolerated lightly in Queensland courts and the penalties reflect this.
If you have been caught drink driving, speak with the experts here at Gold Coast Drink Driver Lawyer. We specialise in this area of the law and can help to navigate you through this often stressful process and help you achieve an outcome you are satisfied with. Contact us today for an obligation-free consultation.