The legal limit of Blood Alcohol Concentration in SA is 0.05g of alcohol per 100mls of blood. What does this actually translate into in terms of safe alcohol limits? According to the AA of South Africa, what it means is that an adult weighing 68kg can safely consume 1 unit of alcohol per hour and be okay to drive.
This is what a unit translates as:
• 2/3 of a bottle of 5% beer, cider or spirit cooler (Bacardi Breezer etc). Yes, that’s right, not even 1 bottle.
• 75mls of wine, average strength 12-14% abv. Most wine is sold in measures of 150 – 200mls so 1 glass actually contains 2 units, if not more.
• 1 single 25ml tot of spirits. Most cocktails contain at least 2 tots which means a cocktail per hour is too much.
Of course, these are guidelines and there may be differences depending on body weight, how quickly you metabolise alcohol, whether you’re eating food etc, but the bottom line is – how do you know until it’s too late? Coffee, a shower, drinking water – none of these make any difference as to how quickly you process alcohol and in the end, it simply comes down to time.
How to not drink & drive this year:
• Call a taxi. Some companies have great apps that will track you down wherever you are such as Uber.
• Use a drive-home service. Companies such as Goodfellas, Smartguys, 1for the Road and more will get not just you, but also your car safely home at the end of the night.
• Be the designated driver for the night. Take it in turns with your friends to be the sober chauffeur and take your pals home.
• Just don’t drink. Really – if you have to drink to have a good time, it might be time to consider finding some new people to hang out with.
The consequences of drinking and driving are huge ranging from accidents, imprisonment, fines, loss of job, a criminal record and ultimately death – either yours, a stranger’s or someone you know and love. Be safe on the roads this year and have a happy and successful festive season.
Disclosure – Cathy is sponsored by Goodfellas who make sure she never has to drink and drive.