Driving under the influence of alcohol is never a good idea – no matter how cool people say it is.
Driving involves a person’s attentiveness and their ability to make quick decisions on the road. Their reaction times must be swift and they must be able to execute specific, often difficult manoeuvres behind the wheel. When drinking alcohol, driving becomes dangerous – and potentially fatal!
Results of Drinking And Driving – A Scenario:
It’s 11:56 pm on a Friday and you’re driving on a major road after a ‘drink-up’ with friends, suddenly you see two figures appear in the distance – keep that in mind.
According to the National Road Safety Council (NRSC) after drinking alcohol, the brain works less efficiently, taking longer to receive messages from the eye, which can make processing information more difficult and delay instructions to the muscles. Alcohol can also slow down reaction time by 10 to 30 per cent and reduce a person’s ability to multitask.
So, those three ‘VXs on the rocks’ can determine how quickly or how slowly you jam the brakes when you see that lady and her child crossing the road ahead of you.
Vision is also affected. Alcohol reduces the ability to see distant objects and night vision can be reduced by 25 per cent. Blurred and double vision can also occur and in some cases loss of peripheral vision.
So, you recognise that the lady is halfway across the street, but directly in your way, you attempt to swerve to the right, not realising that there is a car approaching on that side.
According to the council, alcohol may also create a sense of overconfidence, causing people to become greater risk-takers.
So, you decide to challenge yourself, “Let’s see if I can scare her enough to run,” you think to yourself. She runs towards the right and the driver in that lane is forced to smash his brake. Like a deer in headlights, she is frightened. You, however, have fled the scene and made it home safely, thinking to yourself, “I did it again! Another night home safely, drinking and driving.” But what about that lady? And her child? And the other driver?
Drunk driving does not only affecting you the driver, but it also affects anyone you may come across on the road.
Drunk Driving is a Crime
In Jamaica the law states that the legal alcohol limit is 35 micrograms of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath or a blood alcohol level of 80 milligrams of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood. The legal alcohol limit is the highest level of alcohol which the law allows you to have in your body, which is determined by the amount of alcohol you drink. It is important to note that the amount of alcohol which gets you drunk, depends on many factors, such as, your size, weight, sex and whether you ate before drinking.
It’s also an offence to fail to supply a sample of breath if properly requested to do so. If the Police stop you and lawfully request you to supply a specimen of breath, they will give you a roadside breath test to determine if you are above the limit. If above the limit, the officer may take you to the Station and ask you to supply a sample of breath on a device approved by the State (“The Intoxilizer”). This is a computerised breath test machine, which produces a report that the Court gets as proof of the offence. Under a Driving While Intoxicated offence, a court appearance is mandatory and the fines attached to this offence are now well in the thousands.
- So, let’s be honest $1,000 could buy you at least two drinks while still allowing you to have the taxi fare to get home safely. Is the risk you take driving drunk worth more than your life and the lives of others around you? No.