Arrive Alive

How Much Is Too Much To Drink Before I Drive?

How Much is Too Much to drink before I drive?

People often ask how much can they drink before they go past the limit?

Here is a "basic" answer:

1 metric tot is 8,4 g of ethyl alcohol.

The average beer contains between 13 - 16 grams of ethyl alcohol.

One beer is, therefore, the ± equivalent of a double eg brandy.

In trials, all the participants (Male & Female students) exceeded the legal limit = 0,05g/dl after two beers.

According to the Widmark formula:

A = p x c x 10 x r
A = amount of alcohol in grams
p = mass of the person
x 10 = to convert promille ( parts per thousand) to g/dl or g/%
"r" = Widmark factor which is on average 0,7 for men and 0,6 for females.
c = blood alcohol level.

Blood alcohol level = A divided by p x r x 10.

As far as wine is concerned: It would depend on whether you are referring to fortified wine or not. (Fortified implying that alcohol had been added to the wine)

Usually, on any bottle, the % of alcohol is indicated. 10% would imply 10 grams/alcohol per 100 ml of wine. Then once again the Widmark formulae can be applied to get an estimation of expected blood alcohol level.

Many other factors determine the uptake of alcohol.

These factors include:

Volume, strength, type of dilutant ( eg Coke), type of meal, medication, previous operations, temp of drink, the water content of organs, diffusion gradient, the rate of blood flow, any GIT disease etc. The effects vary from person to person. No set pattern of behaviour does exist. We do not wish to elaborate on all these factors. As you can probably deduct, there is not a simple answer to the question !!

It is important to understand that alcohol affects the cognitive functions of the intoxicated person. Driving is an action that requires good multitasking with the driver having to concentrate not only on steering the vehicle- but also road conditions, other vehicles and pedestrians, signs and traffic lights etc

Visitors to the Arrive Alive website often ask how many drinks they may have before they go on the road. This is a question we need to approach with caution. It is important to recognize that there are too many variables to provide an exact answer - and we can only provide a rough guide.

It is also important to recognize that this is only a guide to what might keep you within the legal limit.

Affects of alcohol

If the question is “How many drinks may I have before my ability to drive is reduced?” - the answer would be NONE!

 

We would rather like to recommend that you DO NOT drink before you drive and that you plan ahead and have a sober designated driver take you home!

We would like to share the guide provided by the Institute of Alcohol Studies:

The basic guideline in South Africa is that 2 drinks within 1 hour will put you on/over the legal limit so don’t drink more than this if you will be driving.

View: Alcohol and You - Institute of Alcohol Studies

Alcohol can also contribute to inattentional blindness - the failure to detect unexpected salient objects that appear in the visual field of the intoxicated person.

Click Here for the International Study: Blind Drunk: The Effects of Alcohol on Inattentional Blindness

A study by Seema L Clifasefi, Melanie K T Takarangi & Jonah S Bergman

To conclude - do not drink and drive!

View this Guide from South Africans Against Drunk Driving [SADD]

Also, visit the following sections:

Drunk Driving and Road Safety

Alcohol, Drugs and Road Safety

Loading...

Search Road Safety Articles

Latest Pages

Safe Driving and Towing a Trailer Safely

Safe Driving and Towing a Trailer Safely

Introduction to trailers and safer driving in South Africa In many recent crash reports, a trailer is found somewhere on or near the crash scene. Surveys confirm that many trailer owners are not fully aware of the safest method of towing cargo. We need to recognize that safety information is important

Read More

Motorcycle Insurance and Safety on the Road

Motorcycle Insurance and Safety on the Road

Introduction South Africa is rated globally as a top travel destination. With a wide diversity of tourism hotspots across a vast landscape, it is the perfect venue for 2-wheel travel on the open road! Whether you wish to save fuel by riding to work in rush-hour traffic, enjoy a breakfast run, or

Read More

The South African Tyre Manufacturers Conference (SATMC) and Road Safety

The South African Tyre Manufacturers Conference (SATMC) and Road Safety

Who is the SATMC? The South African Tyre Manufacturers Conference (SATMC) was established in 1970 as an industry association representing the interests of the local tyre manufacturers, namely Bridgestone, Continental, Goodyear and Sumitomo and who are all owned by global tyre manufacturers. What

Read More

Truck Hijackings, Crime and Road Safety

Truck Hijackings, Crime and Road Safety

Introduction: Truck Hijackings: Investigation and Analysis In recent years we have become aware of an increase in road-related crimes. Not only have we reported on the hijackings, car theft and incidents of smash-and-grab, but have also seen the much more organized crime of truck hijacking [truck

Read More

Wheel Balance, Wheel Alignment and Safe Driving

Wheel Balance, Wheel Alignment and Safe Driving

Introduction to wheel balancing and wheel alignment Road Safety authorities have given much attention to vehicle maintenance and aspects such as tyre safety. Vehicle factors are contributing factors to road crashes - and we would like to advise vehicle owners and drivers to pay close attention to

Read More

Safe Driving After an Extended Break from Driving

Safe Driving After an Extended Break from Driving

Introduction During the COVID-19 pandemic, much of the focus has been on vehicle safety after the lockdown. Vehicle owners were told to look after the car battery, tyres and other vehicle components to ensure that their vehicles are fit for driving after the lockdown! But are we as drivers also

Read More

Load More Pages

Partners

View All