Impaired driving is dangerous. Generally we are all aware of that. But are you aware that after several drinks the evening before you could still have a high blood alcohol reading the next morning?
At a recent party, a friend told me that they had been stopped in a RIDE Program on their way to work in the morning. The officer asked my friend if they had consumed any alcohol the evening before. My friend, hadn’t, and said No.
But what would have happened if my friend, who is not a big person, had consumed several glasses of wine the evening before in the privacy of her home?
This got us both thinking about blood alcohol concentration and its relationship to drinking and driving.
Blood alcohol concentration
The amount of alcohol in your body is measured by the amount of the alcohol in your blood. This is called blood alcohol concentration, or BAC.
Many factors can affect your blood alcohol level including:
- how fast you drink
- whether you are male or female
- your body weight
- the amount of food in your stomach
In Canada, the maximum legal BAC for fully licensed drivers is 80 milligrams of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood (0.08). Driving with BAC over 0.08 is a criminal offence, and if you register a BAC from 0.05 to 0.08 , you will face provincial administrative penalties.
As well, The Zero BAC law means that certain drivers cannot have any presence of alcohol in their blood while they drive. This law applies to:
- all drivers age 21 or under
- novice drivers of any age
Even one drink can reduce our ability to react to things that happen suddenly while we are driving. The effects of alcohol include blurred or double vision, impaired attention and slowed reflexes. These effects can last a long time, much longer than we might think!
Had my friend consumed several glasses of wine partying with friends the evening before, chances would be good that her BAC could still be high the next morning, especially if she were driving to work early in the morning and had not had breakfast and/or little to eat the evening before.
Impaired driving can be lethal. We must always be aware of our blood alcohol concentration.
Being convicted of impaired driving is a crime and the consequences are serious. Upon conviction you may:
- lose your licence
- Have the conviction appear on your drivers abstract
- have your vehicle impounded
- need to pay an administrative monetary penalty
- need to attend an education or treatment program
- be fined upon conviction
- be required to install an ignition interlock device in your vehicle
- spend time in jail
So please don’t drink and drive and always be aware of your blood alcholol concentration.
Sometimes bad things happen. We’re there to help. We specialize in high risk auto insurance. If, in the past, you,have been convicted of impaired driving you may have had your license suspended or had to pay a large fine upon conviction. Now, perhaps a year or so later, you may find that your insurer may no longer wish to insure you. If you have had a major conviction, our SweetLemons Insurance Programs is here to help. Our high risk auto insurance experts will analyze your specific driving record and put together a personalized plan for your specific driving needs with competitive rates that can get you back on the road to lower auto insurance premiums and driver safety.