Morning After Information
How Breathalysers Work
The AlcoSense™ breathalyser measures the concentration of alcohol vapour in a persons breath. Contrary to popular belief the alcohol is not coming from residue in the person’s mouth but is actually evaporating from the blood that passed through the lungs when breathing. The amount of alcohol evaporating from the lungs is directly proportional to the amount of alcohol in the persons blood stream making it possible to accurately judge the persons level of intoxication.
How Alcohol Is Processed by the Body
When you drink, alcohol is absorbed into the blood stream through the stomach and small intestine. The more you drink the more is absorbed. After approximately one hour the alcohol is distributed equally around the blood stream.
As blood flows round the body around 90% of the alcohol it contains is broken down in to water and carbon dioxide by the liver in a process called oxidation. The remaining 10% of the alcohol is passed through the lungs and kidneys. A healthy liver typically breaks down alcohol at a rate of one hour per unit of alcohol but the more alcohol that is consumed the longer it can take for the liver to process each unit.
When you stop drinking your level of intoxication may stay constant or if you have been drinking heavily it could even increase for around 2 hours afterwards. This is because of the time it takes for alcohol to reach the bloodstream from the time you actually had the drink. If you have eaten food this can also increase this time as the release of alcohol into the bloodstream can be slowed by being absorbed by the food in the stomach. This is the reason why we do not recommend the use of this breathalyser just after finishing drinking because there are so many factors that influence the reading. The ideal time is the morning after.
- On average 3,000 people are killed or seriously injured each year in drink drive collisions
- Nearly one in six of all deaths on the road involve drivers who are over the legal alcohol limit
Police Breath Testing
- 17% of all drink drive prosecutions are in the morning
- Half a million breath tests are carried out each year
- On average 100,000 are found to be positive
- 40% of people are estimated to have driven the morning after, unaware they are still over the drink drive limit
- There is no way to guess when you are fit to drive again
- The legal limit in the UK is 80 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood. (0.80‰ BAC)
- There is no failsafe guide as to how much you can drink and stay under the limit
- It depends on many factors including the type of alcoholic drink, your weight, sex, age, food intake and metabolism
- Alcohol affects your ability to judge speed and distances and increases your reaction times dramatically
- People who drive at twice the legal alcohol level are at 50 times more likely to be involved in a fatal car crash
- Minimum 12 Month Driving Ban
- Up to 6 months in prison
- Up to £5,000 fine
- An endorsement for a drink-driving offence stays on your licence for 11 years
- The penalty for refusing to provide a specimen of breath, blood or urine for analysis is a maximum 6 months' imprisonment, up to £5000 fine and a driving ban of at least 12 months
- Causing death by careless driving when under the influence of drink or drugs carries a maximum penalty of 14 years in prison, a minimum 2 year driving ban and a requirement to pass an extended driving test before the offender is able to drive legally again