Driving a vehicle even after a small amount of alcohol is risky

Although Finland’s drink-driving limit is a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.5 per mille, the safe limit for driving is zero. Even a small quantity of alcohol will affect your ability to drive and increase the risk of an accident for the driver, passengers and other road users.

Even if you are only tipsy with a BAC of less than 0.5 per mille, your inhibitions will be lowered and you will feel more confident. At the same time, your concentration and judgement will be impaired, and you will get clumsier. Read more about intoxication.

The blood alcohol content limit for being drunk in charge of a boat is 1.0 per mille. However, if the driver is not considered to be in a fit condition to safely steer the vessel, a penalty may ensue for BACs of less than 1.0 per mille. Read why it’s safest to be sober while on the water.

Young people and inexperienced drivers are risk groups in traffic

According to the statistics, young drivers are more likely to have an accident – even with a low blood alcohol content – as their driving skills are not as developed as more experienced drivers. In 2018, more than a third of all those killed or injured in incidents involving drink-driving were aged between 15 and 24.

Don’t let a drunk person drive

If someone is intoxicated but intends to drive, try to dissuade them or prevent them by confiscating the keys to their car or other vehicle. However, if a drunk person does hit the road, you should report this to the emergency response centre. Never get in a car with a driver who has consumed alcohol.

Tips for a safe evening

  • If you drink, don’t drive.
  • Make an advance plan for where you’ll spend the night after a party. Check public transport timetables or the location of the nearest taxi rank.
  • Drunk cycling is also a risk in traffic. Riding an engineless vehicle while drunk is classed as a crime under law if the cyclist endangers the safety of another person. Read more.
  • Think ahead – work out your movements and schedule for the next day. A late night may still affect your driving ability the following day.

Also check your ability to drive the next day

A late night may still affect your driving ability the following day. The rate at which your body burns alcohol is a personal trait that varies greatly between individuals. The most commonly used estimate is that alcohol burns at a rate of 1 gram per hour per 10 kilos of bodyweight. Read more about burning alcohol and the removal of alcohol from the body.

Even if you no longer have any alcohol in your blood, hangover symptoms can also have a negative impact on your ability to drive. When you are feeling tired after a bad night’s sleep, you will not be as attentive as usual, which will increase your risk of having an accident.

Article source: Finnish Road Safety Council

Article picture: Folio Images