Drinking and Driving: Risks and Possible Sanctions

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In France, alcohol causes more than 30% of fatal traffic accidents and more than 50% at night. It is the leading cause of death on the road, ahead of speed with more than 1,000 lives broken, especially among young people. Since 1 July 2015, novice drivers can no longer drink alcohol and penalties have been increased for all careless drivers. Road safety is stepping up prevention campaigns to show the consequences of alcohol abuse. Even though we used France as an example, in some countries in the world today, road penalties vary from severe to less severe, but either way, you get to be punished for the crime of drinking and driving, even more so eating or answering a phone call while driving. So let's behave responsibly.

Drink or Drive

"Drink or drive, you must choose“. This campaign of prevention has had its day, followed by many others as striking, but without convincing: today, 21% of drivers in most countries say they have already driven by having reached or exceeded the blood alcohol level allowed.

The most stupid thing is that it's enough for a family party, a potty with friends, a well-watered meal for an occasional driver to register in this unflattering record book.

0.5g / L, Not More!

With 0.5 g of alcohol per liter of blood, you will no longer be able to appreciate your driving ability. Normal, alcohol causes an overestimation of these abilities. However, it has its perverse effects that expose you to risk taking: shrunken visual field, sensitivity to glare, alteration of the appreciation of distances and widths, decreased reflexes. In short, under the influence of alcohol, your behavior is degraded.

Unfortunately, 46% of most drivers still think they can drive after two alcoholic drinks.

In France, Since July 1, 2015, the allowable alcohol limit for novice drivers has been significantly reduced for 3 years after obtaining their driver's license. It's zero driving alcohol! This rule is the same for drivers who have lost all their points or a cancellation of their license and candidates in accompanied driving.

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Punishments

In some European countries, it is forbidden to drive with an alcohol concentration higher than 0.2g / l of blood for young drivers and higher than 0.5g / l (legal rate) for the others above, here are some the penalties incurred if you are controlled or if you refuse to submit to screening:

For Young Drivers: At a Rate Equal to or Greater Than 0.2g / l

  • A withdrawal of points on the driving license or total loss of the license the 1st year. The novice driver must retake the driver's license examination (Highway Code and driving)
  • A fixed fine amount (depends on the country)
  • Immobilization of the vehicle
  • Suspension of license (up to 3 years or more depending on the country)

With a Rate Equal to or Greater Than 0.5g / l and up to 0.8g / l

  • A withdrawal of points on a driving license
  • A fixed fine amount (depends on the country)
  • Immobilization of the vehicle
  • A suspension of the license (up to 3 years or more depending on the country)

With a Rate Equal to or Greater Than 0.8g / l or an Obvious State of Intoxication

  • A withdrawal of points on the driving license
  • A larger amount of fine in almost every country.
  • Immobilization of the vehicle, even confiscation of the vehicle
  • A suspension (up to 3 years), or even cancellation of the license
  • A mandatory road safety awareness course at the expense of the offender
  • A prison term (up to 2 years)

A Screening to do Yourself

Do not believe especially those who tell you that it is enough to absorb a coffee bean or to blow in a certain way to circumvent the verdict of a roadside screening. Because of the fear of the policemen, always prefer your safety and that of your passengers. Today, there are chemical or electronic breathalyzers in supermarkets or specialized stores. The first is for single use and cheap. The second has the advantage of being reusable but its price is higher. In both cases, check its validation date, and if it is approved.

Otherwise, it is best to drive or to prevent a drunk friend from driving. You will reduce the risk of accidents for you and for the road users.

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What Number of Glass is Considered Too Much?

0.5 g is two glasses. Whatever the alcoholic beverage, a "glass" represents about the same amount of alcohol: 25 cl of beer at 5 ° (half), 12.5 cl of wine from 10 ° to 12 ° (a balloon), 3 cl of distilled alcohol at 40 ° (whiskey, anisette, gin) contain about 10 g of pure alcohol. Each "glass" raises the blood alcohol level from 0.20 g to 0.25 g on average. For women or the elderly, each glass may represent a blood alcohol level of 0.30 g.

Nothing erases. A healthy subject eliminates 0.10 g to 0.15 g of alcohol per hour. Nothing erases the effects of alcohol: salty coffee, the spoonful of oil, etc. No "trick" eliminates alcohol faster.

Alcohol and Driving are not Compatible

The first reflex is the principle: "the one who drives is the one who does not drink". Make sure before each trip that a person agrees not to drink to bring back others.

In the evening, if a friend does not want to drink more, do not insist and accept his decision, especially if he must drive.

Each guest must ensure that they always offer non-alcoholic drinks to their guests. He must also prevent a drunk friend from driving: to house him, take him home, call a taxi. In 2014, more than 3 out of 4 people say they have prevented a friend, having drunk too much, to drive.

Beware of Misconceptions

Having the habit of drinking does not diminish the effect of alcohol on its abilities (reaction time, vision), just as diluting alcohol does not reduce blood alcohol levels. Only the amount of alcohol ingested counts, not the volume or dilution of the drink.

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Finally, a night's sleep does not necessarily eliminate all the alcohol present in your body: count 1-2 hours per glass of alcohol (doses-bar) and nothing can accelerate the elimination process.

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