Young Person Impairment

Young Person Impairment


There’s an old saying; “it’s tougher to argue with yourself than it is with anyone else.” We tend to do what we believe in, not always what we’ve been told. The best way to have someone believe in something is to experiment it themselves and make their own opinion on it. I did just that when it came to understanding just how quickly someone can become impaired.

I had recently given a young person a single-use breathalyzer from Not Your Child Corp to try. All I did was ask him to give it a try after a night of drinking with family and friends. I told him I would ask him questions the next day or so to see what he thought about it. He was curious and accepted my offer.

A couple days later I asked him his opinion of the device. He stated to me; “I had about 5 drinks before I blew into the breathalyzer, I was a bit surprised cause those 5 drinks were spread out over a large about of time, and I believe I blew a 0.05”. Considering he was a probationary driver and under the age of 22, he had to have 0% blood-alcohol level before he could drive. The drinks he consumed were beer but the volume was greater than a typical beer. He drank 500 ml tall boy cans versus a typical 355 ml can. This essentially meant he drank more than “5 drinks” over the course of the evening. 

To some people, drinking tall boys or pints can be deceiving when deciding how many drinks they’ve had. What he called 5 drinks was actually 7 drinks by alcohol standards. As he seemed surprised by the results of using the breathalyzer, I wasn’t. People in general need to realize that a tall boy or pint has more alcohol than a typical 341 ml bottle of beer or 355 ml can of beer. Saying they only had 5 drinks really means more as this young guy found out.

After he used the single-use breathalyzer, I asked if he would be interested in using this device again. He replied; “Yes I would bring one of these with me, because it’s a really convenient and accurate way to measure where you’re at”. When I offered the breathalyzer to him, I didn’t let on what I was trying to determine. Using the breathalyzer gave him his own opinion of the advantage of using it without me trying to influence his opinion.

As you spend time socializing with family or friends and try to measure your own alcohol consumption, there are a few things to consider. The “old” way of measuring your alcohol intake of one drink per hour doesn’t fly. Our bodies are all different, the amount of alcohol each drink contains may be different and the size of the drink can be different. They only sure way to determine your blood-alcohol level is with a breathalyzer or blood test. I don’t think blood tests are really your thing, so a breathalyzer may be the option you’re interested in. Not Your Child Corp is counting on you to make the right decision.

Scott Corner Blogs

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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