We're officially in party season; Christmas is just around the corner and the invitations are flooding in for nights out down the pub, evening soirées, and other celebrations with family and friends. While most of us are aware of the dangers of driving while under the influence, and avoid it at all costs, many of us forget that alcohol can still have an effect on us the morning after.
After all, our bodies process alcohol differently; while the blood alcohol limit in England, Wales and Northern Ireland may be 80 mg/100ml and 50mg/100ml in Scotland, there is no way of knowing how many milligrammes one unit of alcohol will produce in your bloodstream. Abiding by the government's recommended units, therefore, will not automatically mean you are safe to drive.
Sleep is not the magic solution to sobering up: it has no bearing on the level of alcohol in your bloodstream. And while a glass of water (or two) before going to bed will certainly rehydrate you, and a morning cup of coffee will give you a caffeine boost to wake up, neither of these can speed up the rate at which alcohol leaves your system – that is down to the work of enzymes in your liver. If you cannot avoid the party season completely, then the charity DrinkAware has some tips to help you cut your alcohol consumption:
- Alternate alcoholic drinks with soft drinks or water
- Drink singles rather than doubles
- Choose lower strength drinks, rather than spirits or strong beers or ciders
- Stop drinking early enough to ensure your body has time to process the booze in your system before the morning
With 85,000 people convicted of drink driving related offences every year in England and Wales alone, is one more beer really worth losing your licence for?