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Earlier this month we shared a story from a customer who told us that getting pulled over and subsequently being arrested for “driving under the influence” was the single most humiliating moment of his life. Having consumed only two and a half glasses of red wine over a long lunch, he had to leave his very notable prestige car baby on the side of the road and take his very first trip in a police vehicle. This story begs the question – how much is too much to drive?

Alcohol restrictions in Queensland state that open license holders need to have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of below 0.05. BAC can be described as “the amount of alcohol in your body and is measured by the concentration of alcohol in your blood”. This means that a BAC of 0.05 calculates to 50 milligrams of alcohol per 100 milliliters of blood. BAC rises as soon as you start drinking and can take up to 60 minutes to reach its peak.

General guidelines state that:

Men can drink no more than two standard drinks in the first hour,
followed by 1 standard drink every hour after that while
women can drink no more than one standard drink each hour

So what exactly classifies a standard drink? In Australia, a standard drink is 10 grams of alcohol (this is how much the body can process in an hour).

This is easy to calculate if you’re at home pouring drinks from a bottle for yourself – because it is Australian law to display standard drinks on the label, so you can keep track.

But this can be tricky if drinking when you’re out at a bar or restaurant. You can’t see how much of the bottle has been consumed and venues don’t all have the same size glasses so ‘standard’ drinks can vary.

It’s easy to say that bar staff should be able to help you identify how many standard drinks are in a glass, jug or other container – but who asks?

Glass of red wine

* Calculated using: https://drinkwise.org.au/standard-drinks-calculator/

The critical point in all of this is that the guidelines are GENERAL – the fact is there is no quick and easy way of guessing your BAC and a number of factors can contribute. These factors include your gender, weight, health and fitness levels, mood and the types of drink you consume.

Confusing, right? It’s easy to see how our customer at the beginning of the article ended up in an embarrassing situation.

So we’ll hark back to a classic: When in doubt – don’t!

Put the keys down, as in ‘step away from the car’ and give us a call at Zero Drivers. It’s what we’re here for!

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