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Rules and regulations

Do you know your limits?

We all know there's a legal limit to how much you can drink and then get in your car to drive home. If you've been learning a while or have passed your test, hopefully you know what that limit is.

The legal drink drive limit

  • 35 micrograms of alcohol per 100 millilitres of breath
  • 80 milligrams of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood
  • 107 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of urine

Unfortunately though, one drink can be enough to take you over the limit because there are so many factors involved.

Never forget that your body may not have finished processing the alcohol you've consumed before the next morning, meaning that driving home hungover is a VERY bad idea. The general rule is that you lose one unit an hour, so if you've put away 10 pints that's nearly 24 hours!

Factors affecting your alcohol level

  • Your weight
  • Your gender (men tend to process alcohol faster than women)
  • Your metabolism
  • The type and amount of alcohol you're drinking
  • Your stress levels
  • If you've eaten recently
  • Your age (younger people tend to process alcohol more slowly)

With this many calculations to make, there really is no foolproof way of making sure you're safe to drive. Even a small amount of alcohol can affect your driving so not drinking at all is the only way to know you're safe.

Warning: You can buy little breathalyser keyrings but these should never be relied on. Something you can pick up for a few quid from a novelty shop is NOT something you should trust with your life.

The units in alcoholic drinks

drinkinglimit-infographic
 

Remember: there are many different strengths and measurements. There is no real way to figure out if 1 unit puts you over the limit or not, so make sure you're aware of which drinks are stronger and should be avoided.

Fancy a cocktail? Not if you plan on driving! Some of our favourite refreshing drinks contain upwards of 4 units because they have so many different kinds of alcohol in them.


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Honor joined ingenie in 2014 and is in charge of words on the Young Driver's Guide and blog. Her first car is a Peugeot 206 cabriolet, which is a very sensible choice for the British climate. Follow her on .