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Fatal Five 
Driving Under The Influence
Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is one of the major killers on Tasmanian roads. All too often people think it’s ok to drive after drinking or taking drugs. But what might seem like a harmless action at the time can have very real consequences.

Driving is one of the things most of us do every day, which is why we tend to take it for granted and forget how complex it really is. But when you’re behind the wheel you need total concentration, good coordination, rapid reflexes, and the ability to make correct judgements and decisions.

Driving after drinking alcohol or taking drugs, including prescription medication, diminishes a person’s ability to judge speed and distance, reduces their co-ordination and concentration causing them to react more slowly, impairs their vision and perception of obstacles and gives them a false sense of confidence that leads to increased risk-taking behaviour.

Tips to avoid drink driving

  • Stay at a friend’s place rather than drive.
  • Leave the car at home and consider alternative transport such as a taxi, ride share, pre-arranged lift, or public transport.
  • Designate a driver if going out with others.
  • If hosting at your house, provide non-alcoholic drink options and plenty of food, offer guests somewhere to stay overnight rather than drive home, or call a taxi or ride share for them. Remember they may still be over the limit the next morning.
  • If you’re walking after drinking, walk with a sober friend or group, stay on the footpath, and only cross the road at marked crossings or under a streetlight where you’re clearly visible to motorists.

If you plan on drinking, don’t plan on driving

Blood/breath alcohol concentration (BAC) is a measure of the amount of alcohol in the body. Even at 0.05, studies show reactions are slower than at 0.00 BAC. It is important for motorists to understand that many factors can affect your BAC, such as your weight, gender, what you have eaten, your general health and most importantly how much alcohol you consume and what you are drinking.

It is also difficult to accurately monitor how much alcohol we consume due to:

  • the different size and shape of glasses
  • different alcohol content for each type of drink (wine/beers/spirits)
  • different volumes typically poured for each type of drink
  • gradual alcohol impairment (the more we drink, the less accurate your guesses become about the amount of alcohol consumed).

It’s also important to remember that your BAC may continue to rise after you stop drinking. Learners, P-plate, and commercial drivers effectively can’t drink at all if they want to stay under the limit of 0.00. Just one drink can put them over the legal limit.  All other drivers need to stay under 0.05.

  • Drink Driving Fact

    At 0.05 BAC your risk of being involved in a road crash is double than if you had not been drinking at all.
  • Did you know?

    Alcohol and drugs are a factor in 24 per cent of serious casualty (fatalities and serious injury) crashes in Tasmania.