Motorists are being warned that the Coronavirus restrictions could result in more drink drivers on the roads.
People may be jumping into their cars to join early morning supermarket queues for essential supplies, potentially unaware of alcohol in their system from the night before. With more people potentially drinking alcohol at home over the past weeks with bars and restaurants closed and most working from home, we may not think about the morning after.
Although driving due to COVID-19 restrictions is only for essential journeys such as shopping for food or going to the pharmacy, people may not realise how much alcohol they have consumed the night before.
“If you drink four pints of medium-strong beer or four large glasses of wine, it could take as long as 14 hours for the alcohol to clear your system. If you drink between 9pm and 11pm, you may not be sober until 11am the following morning” comments Hunter Abbott, managing director of breathalyser firm AlcoSense.
The updated lrish laws which came into effect almost over a year and a half ago mean that first-time drink-driving offenders will be automatically banned from driving for three months if caught with between 50 – 80 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood (mg/100mL BAC) – equivalent to 0.22 – 0.35 milligrams of alcohol per litre of breath (mg/L BrAC). Previously, drivers caught at these levels received three penalty points and a fine – but no driving ban.
“The only way to be sure that alcohol has completely cleared your system is to use a personal breathalyser”, adds Abbott.
“The impact of COVID-19 is worrying enough without the added stress of being banned from driving, or being involved in an incident”.