Drink driving limits vary by country, but, at the risk of generalising, if your blood alcohol levels exceed between 0.05 and 0.1% – or between 50 and 100mg alcohol per 100ml of blood, you’re committing a crime.

Again, at the risk of generalising, that meant for an average sized person one drink and you were OK to drive. A bottle of beer, a glass of wine, a spirit, a pint of lager, that sort of thing.

I have always kept religiously to that rule, because I’ve lived in countries where it’s been 0.08% or 0.1%, even out in the country where’s no public transportation and no taxis. It’s not worth it, for so many reasons.

Not any more.

Ireland is now 0.05% and at least a 3-month ban. I checked, 0.05% means half a pint or a small glass of wine puts you at risk of being over the limit.

I remember about 30 years ago my Dad was returning from an afternoon game of golf. He was a similar size to me and back then the conventional wisdom was a pint and a half and you’re fine, which he never exceeded. On this occasion he was breathalysed and told he wasn’t over the limit but he was borderline. He never had a pint and a half before driving again.

I’d be interested in seeing what my degree of driving impairment would be after a small glass of wine. Would my reactions and judgement be noticeably slower or would there be less jerkiness and over-reactions because I was a tad more relaxed?

It’s a moot point, because it serves no purpose to have a single drink and get in a car any more. I’m fine with that, since the ramifications of excess drink are unthinkably bad for another family, but I’m not sure how folk in the country will get on, whether their quality of life in massively unpopulated areas – where you’re unlikely to meet another car or pedestrian and you’re only risking yourself which is your own fault – will suffer.

 

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