How do you know if you are over the drink driving limit the morning after?

Don't drink and drive

Last Christmas, Police Scotland caught 23 drivers who were over the drink driving limit - the morning after.

Did they know they were over the limit still? Probably not. But the dangers cannot be ignored. 

So - how can you really know when it is safe to drive the morning after?

Sadly, it is next to impossible to accurately calculate whether the alcohol you consumed has left your body.

Why? Because everyone is different and how long it takes for your body to break down alcohol will be different to someone else depending on a number of factors.

On average, it takes about one hour for your body to break down one unit of alcohol.

So, if you drink a large glass of wine (250ml) for example, it can take about three hours for this to leave your system. 

For one pint of beer, this can take about two hours.

And this will vary from person to person based on your gender, weight, your age, how much you have eaten, the type of alcohol you have consumed and any medication you are taking – to name a mere few. 

It is therefore critical that you give yourself enough time before you drive the next day to make sure you are not over the limit. 

One way to check if there is still alcohol in your system the morning after is with a Scottish breathalyser kit. It is important the kit is Scottish as Scotland has a lower drink driving limit to the rest of the UK. 

How does alcohol impact on drivers?

Scotland reduced the drinking driving limit in 2014 for good reason – because any amount of alcohol in your system can seriously impact on your reaction times to hazards on the road. 

These milliseconds can make all the difference between an accident on the road and causing harm to yourself and others.

Alcohol and drugs affect your ability to process information and react to hazards. It also impairs your decision-making meaning you are more likely to take risks on the road like driving too fast.

All of these factors combined means you are far more likely to be involved in a road traffic accident if you are under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Is there really a risk from drink driving? 

We see first-hand the serious impact that drink driving can have and the harm caused by reckless behaviour. The danger is not only to the driver but passengers in the car, and others on the road.

Ask yourself – can you be sure there is absolutely no alcohol left in your system? If the answer is no, leave the car at home.

You can find more about what is the drink driving limit in Scotland or you can learn more about the factors that impact how long your body takes breaks down alcohol on the NHS website.