This is a sponsored guest post.
The question of when to drive after drinking is a popular question among road users. This is because a lot of people have become aware of the dangers of drinking and driving due to catastrophes caused by it in the past with popular campaigns against the act.
It is in fact a crime to drive after drinking in so many countries of the world. No matter how skilled a driver is, even having attended the best driving lessons in the world; it will be an almost impossible task getting back full mental normalcy, coordination and gaining full cognitive control and awareness enough to ply the surface of the road without creating a crash scene.
It is difficult to say precisely how many hours the body will take to process alcohol fully. Most people can process a regular alcohol intake only after an hour after consumption; for others, it might take some hours undeterminable. This should be the most straightforward answer to the question. The liver is able to process just an ounce of alcohol in a minute. This clearly shows that it would be a bit difficult to claim that a certain number of hours precisely are what it takes the body to process alcohol. Factors that influence how quickly the body processes alcohol include;
• Food intake
Proteins help the body slow down the processing of alcohol. A person who has not had any food at all has the tendency to reach the peak of Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) quicker than the person that has had food. Usually, a person who has eaten will take 1-6 hours to process the alcohol. This depends on the kind of alcohol and the amount that has been consumed by the person.
When the body is tired the liver of the drinker might also be too tired to process the alcoholic drink, and it will consequently result in a longer processing time.
Drug, they either work alongside or work against alcohol. Some alcohols make the effect of certain drugs like pain killers more pronounced and in the same vein; some alcohol can also amplify the effect of drugs which will affect the time it will take to be able to get back on the road again. In some instances, it can even happen that the combination of certain drugs plus alcohol will expose the liver to so much risk.
• Physiological factors: Weight, height, and gender
Women, for example, have less dehydrogenase which is the enzyme responsible for breaking down alcohol in the stomach. This means that when a woman consumes the same amount of alcohol as a man, the woman will end up having more blood alcohol concentration than the man. Hormonal factors also account for the differences in the period of alcohol break down. Women will have more BAC’s before their menstruation. People with body fats also have the potentials for higher blood alcoholic concentration.
Dehydration comes with illnesses most times; if you are currently not in your normal state, it will become harder for your liver to help get rid of the alcohol you took.
• Extent of sleep
Extent of a good amount of sleep is one of most important consideration.
• Peculiar individual metabolic rate
Usually, the BAC which is the blood alcoholic concentration rises continuously for three hours after drinking. There is a perfect correlation between BAC and the expressions of alcohol according to individual peculiarities some of which have just been highlighted. Apart from these factors, how speedily the body processes alcohol depends on the default functioning of the liver. The pace of alcohol processing of the liver is one unit per second, according to Drinkaware.
A single unit of alcohol is usually 10ml or 8g of pure alcohol. Some alcohols might be stronger than this with more ml as a unit. According to metro.co.uk, in a glass of wine containing 12% alcohol, there are 2.1 units or thereabout. In one pint of beer which is 3% alcoholic, there are about 2units. So you should be able to calculate based on this how long it should take you to be eligible for the road again. If you happen not to be, why suffer yourself the risk of dangerous driving, it is better to remain at home or any other safe location till the alcohol fades off the blood. All of these infos are being taught in detail once you undergo an essential drivers training for becoming a great driver.
Another good option is to get a drinkalyser to help you figure out whether you are safe for the road or not.
A lot of drunk drivers do not act consciously; they wake up from being drunk the previous night and take on the responsibility of driving while still unknowingly under the influence of alcohol. The body usually still has several units of alcohol in the body if you wake up very early. Sleep does not affect the body’s efficiency in processing alcohol. The fact that you feel better or clear-headed after several hours of sleep post consumption of alcohol is not necessarily a pointer to the fact that you no longer have alcohol in your body. If the alcoholic content in your body happens to be on a high and you have not slept for enough hours it would take time to process it if you were awake then you would still have alcohol in your system. Alcohol at times often leaves a buzz if it’s still very prevalent in the bloodstream, should you feel a buzz probably after waking up in the morning after drinking the previous night, its best to stay off the road.
In many places, there are different limits of alcohol or specifications about the percentage of alcohol that should be in the bloodstream before driving on the road if you have exceeded this limit that means that the law considers you impaired to drive at that moment.
There is a common saying among pilots “eight hours from bottle to throttle.” For moderate social consumption of alcohol, that hour should be enough for the blood to get purified again.
When to drive after drinking cannot always be given a straightforward answer. Several determining factors determine how early or late the effect of alcohol fades off. Knowing well that the liver cannot process more than one unit of standard alcohol every hour should serve as a basis to evaluate when exactly to drive after drinking. Laws in different places of the world also differ, it is crucial to get to know what the driving law stipulates to be the legal driving time after drinking to avoid getting caught up in unnecessary legal twists.