Do you know if you'd be legally allowed to drive the morning after a big night out?
Do you know if you'd be legally allowed to drive the morning after a big night out? Jojo Newby

The morning after: Is it safe (and legal) for you to drive?

DO YOU know whether you're fit to drive the morning after a big night?

According to an NRMA survey, less than 20% of people understand how their alcohol intake the night before affects them the next day.

As part of the motoring group's new Speak Out platform, the NRMA is trying to get the message out about morning-after drink driving.

A Coffs Coast driver in May provided a good example of just how slowly alcohol leaves the system.

After being caught with a blood alcohol reading of 0.167 just after 1am, the driver was caught again three hours later still well over the limit with 0.121.

And while this driver was unlikely to have slept in the interim, the message is clear - it can take many hours to get to a safe and legal level after drinking.

"Being caught with a blood alcohol reading above the legal limit the morning after drinking is one of those issues members worry about and we have seen some high profile cases this year," NRMA president Wendy Machin said.

"Our members don't want to be caught inadvertently breaking the law and putting their lives and the lives of others at risk, but at the same time they feel there has not been enough information about how best to make sure it's okay to drive. In essence they want to take the guessing out of what is a very serious issue."

MORNING WARNING

COPIOUS cups of coffee, cold showers or any of the myriad hangover cures people swear by have been found to have no effect on blood alcohol levels the morning after.

The time it takes to sober up completely can depend on many factors including the individual's ability to process alcohol.

The only effective ways to be sure it's safe to drive the next day are:

  • Stopping drinking early in the night
  • Wait one hour in the morning for every standard drink consumed the previous night


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