How long until I can drive? – ‘Sleeping it off’ this Christmas
The chart below is not intended to help you work out how much you can ‘get away’ with drinking before driving. It is intended simply to give you some understanding of alcohol elimination rates and timings of alcohol absorption. You may be surprised by the results.
If you plan on driving at all this Christmas – don’t drink. Leave the car at home and make alternative arrangements. Some bars are offering free soft drinks to dedicated drivers. That is the safest and most reliable advice!
When will you be safe to drive?
Christmas Party – How much can I drink?
There is no ‘one size fits all’ formula when it comes to alcohol consumption and absorption; everyone will process alcohol differently. Your elimination rate depends on;
- Your age, weight, sex and metabolism
- Your stress levels
- What food you’ve consumed
- What medication you take
- The type of alcohol you’re consuming
You’ll note from the charts above that it takes approximately 1 hour for alcohol to enter your bloodstream. After that, the body can begin removing the alcohol at a rate of 1 unit per hour (or 7 microgrammes per hour).
As above, if you plan on driving – don’t drink. If you plan on driving the following morning, be cautious about the amount of alcohol being consumed.
Christmas Drink Driving Campaigns
For over 40 years, police forces across England and Wales have cracked-down on drink drivers over the festive period.
Market research firm – Qa – have joined forces with Essex Constabulary to determine the effectiveness of drink driving campaigns. Are they a short-term solution, or a long-term deterrent?
400 people conducted an online questionnaire. Non-drivers were also included in this demographic. The aims of the research included;
- Measuring awareness levels of the campaign amongst the target audience
- Evaluating ‘take-out’ from the campaign to establish if the key messages worked
- Gauging the campaign’s perceived impact on driving behaviour
Despite the nature of the questions – and the time of year – over 25% of respondents still failed to recognise the primary message of the campaign – “don’t drink and drive”! 1 in 10 of those questioned said the campaign had not highlighted the consequences of drink driving.
Tips if you know you’ll be driving the next day
- Appoint a designated driver
- Take advantage of public transport, taxis or partners/parents!
- If you have no option but to drive, stick to zero alcohol beers, mocktails or standard soft drinks
- Buy a hand-held breathalyser online or from an automotive store (be aware, however, that these may not be very accurate)
Call to speak with a specialist solicitor
If you’d prefer to discuss your drink driving case immediately with a specialist solicitor, please call our team on