For most of us, turning 18 means getting your licence – which is pretty sweet. Getting behind the wheel after you have a few drinks isn’t though.
When you think about it, driving is really complicated. You need total concentration, good coordination, rapid reflexes and to be able to make correct judgments and decisions. So it isn’t surprising that drinking alcohol diminishes that.
There’s no absolute safe level of alcohol consumption for competent driving.
How alcohol affects your driving
If you drink alcohol and drive, you’re likely to find it difficult to:
- concentrate properly
- judge the distance between your car and other vehicles
- judge the speed of your vehicle
- keep your balance if you are riding a motorbike
- notice traffic lights, pedestrians and other hazards
- see and hear normally
- stay awake
- react appropriately to things going on around you, particularly if an unexpected hazard should suddenly appear.
Safe drink driving? There’s no such thing.
Australia has strict laws about drinking alcohol and driving, with the legal limit set at 0.05 blood alcohol concentration (BAC). Learners and probationary licence-holders must have a 0.00 BAC.
Even after just a few drinks, your driving ability is affected. The more you drink, the higher your blood alcohol concentration, and the greater your chance of having an accident.
If you know you are going to be drinking, make alternative plans for getting home. Arrange a lift with a friend who isn’t drinking, catch public transport, an Uber or a taxi.
A little over the limit? Twice as likely to crash.
|BAC Level||Effects from alcohol on driving|
|0.02 to 0.05||
|0.05 to 0.08||
|0.08 to 0.12||