How Much?

Over the years I’ve often heard people saying after consuming alcohol, “it’s ok, I’ve only had a few.” A few is still a few too many if they plan to drive. And really, how much is a few anyway? It’s no secret that any amount of alcohol you drink can affect you in such a manner that your ability to control a vehicle can be jeopardized. But just how much alcohol can affect you, percent wise? Is there anything else which can affect your blood-alcohol levels? Why yes there is. Thanks for asking.

Factors that can affect your blood-alcohol levels include

Body size

Biological gender 

Alcohol content of your drinks

How much sleep you’ve had

What you’ve eaten and when 

Medications you take

Food slows down the absorption of alcohol going into the bloodstream. This means it may affect you later in the day when you least expect it. Combining fatigue with alcohol impairment can cause dramatic effects if you get behind the wheel as well. Ensure you don’t pass it off as just being tired. Remember, alcohol is a depressant. Body size is also a factor because a smaller amount of alcohol can affect someone who weighs less than someone else because they have less blood in their body. So, the myth of one drink per hour is just that – a myth. We need to be more accurate before we get into the vehicle.

Being impaired affects us in many ways. At just .02% blood-alcohol, it can affect your judgment and cause you difficulty with your ability to drive and your attention between other tasks. Adding another drink and it can easily affect your coordination and reaction time. Pretty important if you ask me. So, when someone says they just had a few and are ok to drive, don’t believe them. In many jurisdictions, having a reading of .05% blood-alcohol, or higher, means there can be a 72-hour suspension. But how do you know the alcohol has worn off? 

Breathalyzers from Not Your Child Corp can help make more accurate decisions for you. Although blood samples give the best, accurate readings, these breathalyzers are far more accurate than your off-the-cuff opinion would be after consuming drinks. Individual breathalyzers can give a reading range to let you know you are above 0% alcohol. And we really want to be at 0% alcohol before driving away.

Removing the myths of attempting to speed up your ability to become sober is important within our society. Coffee, cold showers and exercises will NOT speed up your ability to sober up. It’s just time that can do that. After using a breathalyzer from Not Your Child Corp, you’ll need to wait. And in some cases, wait quite some time before you do another breathalyzer to ensure you are at 0% before driving away. Trust me, it is well worth your time.

Scott Marshall has spent over 30 years promoting road safety in many jurisdictions. He has been a road safety journalist since 2005. Scott was also an on-air judge on the Discovery Network's Canada's Worst Driver during their first 3 seasons on the air. Not YourChildCorp. is proud to have Scott @Safedriver as a frequent contributor, his insights are irreplaceable.

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