The next time someone says, ‘Fancy a couple of coldies?’ Take a moment before answering yes. Will you be driving after?
The legal BAC limit for driving in Australia is 0.5%, lower than many countries but still not enough for curbing road fatalities.
How does drink driving affect us?
According to Australia’s peak road transport and traffic agency, Austroads, the country sees 200 deaths annually due to drunk driving. This figure constitutes 18% of all deaths on the roads. Of course, this is accompanied by thousands of injury cases.
The national consensus is still debating on lowering the BAC limit to zero, along with other measures such as more roadside random tests, immediate licence suspension, increasing alcohol prices, and improving support for alcohol-dependent drivers.
What should you do?
Understand that the risks of drinking and driving are quite high. It can lead to accidents and serious harm, embarrassments, and health problems later in life.
Better still, learn how to control your alcohol intake and drive more responsibly. Here are some simple steps on how to do that.
1. Know your limit
The Australian Guidelines on drinking alcohol state that a healthy person should not drink more than 10 standard drinks a week and/or 4 standard drinks a day. Of course, the amount of alcohol you can handle depends on your age, weight, gender, and mood too. If you aren’t aware of your limit, follow the ‘less is more’ policy.
2. Controlled assessment helps
Assessing your alcohol intake will show how much you drink daily, and when exactly things tend to get out of hand. You can further control this by avoiding situations that trigger drinking, purchasing less alcohol amounts, etc. This will also help you to calculate your safe limit.
3. Remember to eat and pause
It’s always a good idea to eat before and also while you drink. Empty stomach allows the alcohol to hit the bloodstream faster. A full stomach will also control your alcohol intake. Pace yourself and pause to count your drinks and also, take regular sips of water in between.
4. Plan your journey back home
Even when you drink below the BAC limit, alcohol still impairs senses. Driving responsible after drinks is most fruitful when a sober friend can drive you back, or give a ride. Opt for public transportation. Or better still, leave the car at home to avoid temptation.
5. Don’t fall for peer pressure
There is no obligation to keep up with friends or other company in terms of drinking. Stay clear of drinking games, situations, and people who encourage binge drinking.
6. Be proactive about alcohol control
Learn to say, ‘No’. Don’t drink and drive yourself, and neither let anyone else do it. If you find it hard to control your drinking, be ready to accept that there might be a problem. In that case, consider seeking help. It’s better than living with the possibility of harm.
The law should be strict but sometimes there is also a need for support. Specialized law firms such as Astor Legal understands this and can help you reduce your fines, disqualification periods, and even help you avoid imprisonment.