AS CHRISTMAS party season approaches, more Brits will be tempted to get behind the wheel after celebrating.
But an easy-to-use breathalyser is making it easier for motorists to ensure they’re not over the limit when driving.
The hand-held device By AlcoSense could stop thousands of drivers going over the limit this Christmas.
Using the latest semi-conductor technology and an updated sensor, the breathalyser can give a clear result in seconds.
The £45 test gives a reading when a drivers blows into the device until it beeps, which is around six seconds.
And if you’re over the limit, a ‘Don’t Drive’ warning will be displayed on the screen and through a beeping sound.
It can also be set to the drink drive limit in England, Wales and Northern Ireland – or the lower limit in Scotland.
In England and Wales, the alcohol limit for drivers is 80 milligrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood, 35 microgrammes per 100 millilitres of breath or 107 milligrammes per 100 millilitres of urine.
Meanwhile in Scotland the limits are 50 milligrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood, 22 microgrammes per 100 millilitres of breath or 67 milligrammes per 100 millilitres of urine.
While the drink-drive limit is the same for everyone, how it influences you behind the wheel changes.
- There’s no foolproof system where you can safely have one pint or one large glass of wine and definitely be under the limit.
- As a general guide it takes around two hours for a pint to leave your system although stronger beers and ciders will take longer.
- A large glass of wine (250ml) is still in the blood for four hours and a single measure of a spirit takes just one hour.
- Plus you’ll need to add on an hour for the alcohol to be absorbed into the system. So, if you have four pints and stop drinking at midnight, you’re not safe to drive until at least 9am – a bottle of wine and you have to wait until 1pm the next day.
- These numbers vary from driver to driver, too, depending on a number of factors including weight, age, sex and metabolism. When and how much you’ve eaten and stress levels at the time are all part of the equation, too.
- The easiest way to avoid being caught out and to ensure you’re safe behind the wheel is not to drink at all if you’re planning on driving and give yourself plenty of time the next day before setting of
Drivers risk up to six months imprisonment, an unlimited fine and a lengthy driving ban as a maximum penalty if they are caught driving while above the legal limit – with those who cause a death while behind the wheel facing a potential life sentence.
Recent Department for Transport figures reveal there were 290 deaths in 2017 where alcohol was a contributing factor, up from 200 in 2015.
A recent study revealed December is the worst month for drink-driving, with 10 per cent of all cases recorded over the festive season.
Hunter Abbot, managing director of AlcoSense Laboratories, said: “The responsible enjoyment of alcohol includes understanding when it has cleared your system.
“A personal breathalyser helps remove potentially fatal guesswork when deciding whether to get behind the wheel the morning after you’ve consumed alcohol.
“Studies show you are 13 times more likely to be involved in a fatal accident when at the English and Welsh drink drive limit, compared with being sober.”