Alcohol is one of the factors affecting traffic accidents. Accident deaths are avoidable if alcohol is responsibly consumed. Also, if you travel around, you should know what is the rate of alcohol allowed for driving. This way, you will be able to go out for a party and then know when you can safely drive again.
Alcohol causes alterations in your behavior that affect driving ability. Did you know that according to DGT data, alcohol consumption causes more than 30% of fatal accidents? Many people don't know the risk of driving under the influence of alcohol but do you?
What is blood alcohol level (BAC)?
First, let's define BAC as the volume of alcohol in the blood, measured in grams per liter of blood (g/L) or exhaled air (mg/L).
BAC permitted in Spain in 2019
We must bear in mind the alcohol rate allowed in Spain indicated by the Dirección General de Tráfico (DGT). This can help us to avoid fines and danger.
Remember that a newly licensed driver is judged by rates different than a driver with years of experience.
The legal alcohol limit in Spain, according to the DGT, is 0.25 MG/l in exhaled air for standard drivers and 0.15 mg/l for novices and professionals. The alcohol limit can be also expressed in blood. In this case, it is 0.5 g/L in blood and 0.3 GR/L in novices and professionals.
Despite these rates, the best rate for driving is always 0.0 g/L in blood. In addition, driving under the effects of alcohol is dangerous for you as well as for other drivers. Keep in mind that you put more than one life in danger!
If you want to know if you can safely drive a car, a motorcycle or a bicycle, you have to check whether you are under the permitted limit or not. How? Thanks to Alcocat's portable breathalyzer, a small device that fits in your pocket, you can check the level of alcohol in your blood and thus know when you can safely drive your vehicle.
Factors that increase alcohol content
But you should know that alcohol does not affect everyone in the same way, and even it will affect the same person differently under different circumstances! For example, if you drink on different days, the amount of alcohol in your body may vary.
Factors that make the rate vary:
- How fast you drink alcohol: it is recommended to drink slowly.
- On an empty stomach, more alcohol goes into the digestive tract and strikes faster.
- Your age: it affects people under 18 and those over 65 more. As well as drivers with little experience because they are not yet accustomed to driving.
- Gender is also important: generally, women are more affected by alcohol than men.
- While sleeping, alcohol is more difficult to digest and remove. Therefore, sleeping a few hours before driving may not eliminate alcohol.
- Body constitution: a thin person may have a higher BAC compared to a heavier one drinking the same quantity.
- Other factors such as stress, drowsiness, fatigue, etc. can also have an impact on the effects of alcohol.
Recommendations when drinking alcohol
When is blood alcohol detected?
Alcohol can be detected in the blood after only five minutes. And, as a general rule, the effect of alcohol is the greatest 30 - 90 minutes after you have stopped consuming it. From that moment on, it begins to decrease very slowly.
One way to see the effects of alcohol is through the BAC curve is known as the Widmark curve. This curve shows how alcohol in the blood varies in a person who has consumed alcohol for four hours and then has gone to sleep. As we can see, alcohol increases much faster than it decreases.
Consequently, once you're awake, if you've had a little sleep, you can also test positive. Be careful with this!
Disturbances that may occur if you drive under the influence of alcohol
Driving when you're still under the effects of alcohol is very dangerous. Which alterations will you experience?
If you have a couple of drinks in your body you have to take into account that the sense of sight will be altered. When we drink alcohol, we have slower movements and less perception of our environment. We don't calculate distances correctly. Our eyes will tire more easily causing a distorted view of traffic lights and signs and, at the same time, reaction time increases.
It also increases the tunnel vision effect: this makes you focus on the center of the visual field. This means that we find it difficult to perceive the stimuli of our environment. And finally, if all the previous reasons were not enough, problems in maintaining visual concentration are also manifested. That's why we recommend that whenever you go out and drink, before taking your vehicle, you should always check if you are able to drive safely: check it with Alcocat's portable breathalyzer and if it tests positive, forget about driving and walk back home.
Is it compulsory to carry out a breathalyzer test?
Article 21 of the General Traffic Regulations stipulates that all drivers of vehicles and bicycles are required to take a breathalyzer test whenever they are asked. Yes, people who ride bicycles too!
In addition, a criterion is set for this test. Reasons to be required to take a breathalyzer test include:
- Any road user or driver involved in a traffic accident
- Whoever is driving a vehicle with obvious symptoms of being under the influence of alcoholic beverages
- Drivers who are reported for committing any infraction
Fines for testing positive for breathalyzer
If you drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs,not only may you produce an accident, but you are also committing a criminal offense. Sanctions vary depending on the degree of alcohol:
- Between 0,25 mg/L and 0,5 mg/L in exhaled air: the fine corresponds to 500€ and the loss of 4 points.
- More than 0,5 mg/L: fine of 1.000€ and 6 points are taken away from your license.
- Presence of drugs: economic sanction of 1.000€ and subtraction of 6 points from your driving license.
In addition, over time, the government wants to increase the punishment for drinking and driving. They want to avoid by all means your putting your life or the life of others in danger. So, over time, the permitted rates of alcohol may be lowered. Are you concerned about your safety? Don't take any chances!