More drink drivers getting busted the day after a night out

Beware the morning after! That’s what we’ve always said. It’s easy enough to stop yourself from driving after you know you’ve had a few drinks… but what about the next day?

Even though random breath testing (RBT) has been around for more than 30 years, most drivers are still not aware of how long it takes for alcohol to leave their system.

Recent news reports a rise in the number of people getting caught driving over the legal limit the morning after a big night out.

alcohol drinking accidents

Just two years ago, the number of drivers caught over the legal limit of 0.05%BAC between 6am and noon represented 10.6% of all arrests for driving under the influence.

Last year, this number climbed up to 11.6% of all drink driving offences. And this year so far, it has risen to 12.2%.

On the other hand, there was a 5% decrease in drink driving arrests between 6pm and midnight, an an 8.5% drop between midnight and 6am.

We know not to drink and drive, but we’re not aware that there may still be alcohol in our system when we wake up in the morning.

A NSW police study of 1022 motorists found that an astonishing 61% of drivers don’t know how long it takes for alcohol to clear their system. Disturbingly, 22% of respondents in the survey admitted to driving the next day even though they thought they might be over the limit.

beware the morning after

A healthy liver can break down less than one standard drink per hour. Sleeping, coffee, and cold showers, are not ways to reduce your BAC level – the only cure is time.

Read more on 9 alcohol myths you should ignore.

Russell White, CEO of the Australian Road Safety Foundation said a lot of drivers underestimate the ongoing effect of alcohol.

“There are so many variables. You’re affected by the amount of alcohol you drink, over what period of time, and how long it takes your body to process it,” Mr White said.

“Depending on how big a night you’ve had, alcohol can well and truly still be in your system well into the second day.”

Drivers should remember that even below 0.05%BAC, alcohol still causes some impairment to our ability to drive. That’s why you can also get busted for drink driving or driving dangerously even if you’re below the legal limit.

It’s also difficult for people to keep track of how much they’ve had to drink. Different types of alcohol have different percentages of alcohol content, and may be more or less than one standard drink in total. Estimating the number of standard drinks you’ve had is even harder when drinking a mix of alcohol, cocktails, and liquor.

As Mr White advised, “The best way is to impose a zero limit on yourself. If you drink at all, don’t drive.”

So when’s a good time to drive the next day?

There isn’t really a way to find out your BAC other than with a breathalyser. Sometimes, even if you feel sober after a good night’s rest, there may still be alcohol in your system.

Many of our customers buy a breathalyzer to make sure that they are okay to drive the next day. It’s a good sign indicating that more and more people are aware of the effects of alcohol in our system even on the next day.

One of Andatech’s partners – RACV (Royal Auto Club Victoria) – offers the AlcoSense Verity personal breathalyzers to members and use “Beware the Morning After” as their main message for why both new and old drivers should buy a breathalyzer.

Joseph Soh, the sales manager at Andatech, notes that this holiday season, drivers should be even more careful about driving after having a few drinks.

“Heat and alcohol don’t mix very well, and it’s going to be a hot Christmas in Australia this year. Because alcohol promotes dehydration, it can interfere with the body’s ability to regulate its own temperature,” Mr Soh advised.

“If drinking alcohol, especially if you’re outdoors under the hot sun, remember to drink plenty of water in between to stay hydrated, and pace yourself between alcoholic drinks,” Mr Soh said.

Read our other tips for staying safe this holiday season.



Original news article at



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