Matrix Newsletter – January 2016

Drinking and Driving: How much is too much?

The holidays see some of the most tragic road accidents, resulting in injuries and fatalities due to drunk-driving related incidents. The law against drinking and driving is very clear – simply don’t do it. It has been proven time and again that no one can drive safely when under the influence, even after one unit of alcohol. Research has shown that alcohol slows down brain functions, reducing your ability to judge your driving speed and your distance from other vehicles and pedestrians, resulting in the inability to focus on the road and your surroundings.

Drinking and driving is a criminal offense and if caught, could mean up to six years in prison. Statistics indicate that 32% of fatalities on South African roads are due to motorists being over the legal alcohol limit. Car accidents are the leading cause of death for teens and about one quarter of those accidents involve an underage drunk driver.

What constitutes being over the limit?

One unit of alcohol represents 10ml of pure alcohol, based on an adult weighing 68kg. Studies have shown that our bodies can only break down one unit of alcohol every hour. Alcoholic beverages come in various sizes and strengths and units are a way to determine how strong your drink is.

One unit of alcohol represents the following:

  • 75ml of red or white wine per hour with an alcohol content of 12% to 14%.
  • 25ml tot of whisky and brandy per hour.
  • It is equal to two-thirds of beer or spirit cooler with 5% alcohol content.

The legal limit is a breath alcohol content of 0.24mg per 1,000ml or blood alcohol limit of 0.05g per 100ml.

Alcohol by volume

When you look at the label on a bottle of wine, beer or lager, you’ll see a percentage, followed by the abbreviation “ABV” (Alcohol By Volume). Sometimes, only the word “vol” is used. If a bottle of wine says “13 ABV”, this means that it contains 13% pure alcohol. The pure alcohol content will differ from wine to lagers, so it is very important to read the label.

On average, two in three people will be involved in a drunk driving accident in their lifetime. It is evident that drinking and driving simply do not go together. Adhere to the rules and be safe on the road #DontDrinkAndDrive

Kind regards,
The Matrix Team