A Driving Instructor's Blog

The Telegraph put on its Daily Mail costume this week and reported the shocking fact that the majority of 17-24 year old drivers don’t know what the blood alcohol limit for drinking and driving is.

Well, whoopee-doo.

All this comes out of new “research” by Red Driving School (i.e. a questionnaire it gave to some learners), which reveals “shocking gaps” in young driver education and awareness. Complete bollocks, as it shows no such thing.

Oh, there are shocking gaps in young driver education and awareness, all right, but this most definitely isn’t one of them.

Ian McIntosh, CEO at RED Driving School, said:

…it is vital that they are informed of simple facts such as the drink driving limit.

He doesn’t explain why, which would have been very interesting to hear.

I have this vision of a bunch of 17-24 year olds all taking samples of their blood and running them through their in-car gas chromatograph – no doubt installed as a mod along with their wide exhaust pipes and blue LEDs.

The “study” is flawed on so many levels. Most of the respondents had seen their parents drink and drive – so they obviously know that it is wrong because they can identify it. Nearly half would refuse to be a passenger with someone who’d been drinking – again illustrating a clear understanding of what’s right and what’s wrong. And yet the “researchers” still try to suggest that not knowing what the blood alcohol limit is means young drivers would go out and do it without realising.

Utter crap!

They should have also asked the same group what a “milligramme” was. I bet 99% of them wouldn’t have had a clue, so how they’d be able to apply that to the number of milligrammes of alcohol in blood is anyone’s guess.

You can’t accurately predict blood alcohol based on what you drink. That’s why they keep telling you that it depends on things like your sex, build, and other stuff. The only way of working it out is either to know what your breath alcohol is – which means having an accurate breathalyser to hand – or taking a blood sample and having it analysed. So knowing the numbers is absolutely pointless, except for the purposes of answering an exam question!

People get caught drink-driving because they ignore the rules – not because they don’t know what the rules are!

For anyone desperate to win a pub quiz over Christmas, the answers are:

  • 80mg alcohol per 100mls of blood
  • 35mg alcohol per 100mls of breath
  • 107mg alcohol per 100mls of urine

And remember that if you’re going to drive, don’t drink at all. Or if you’re going to drink, just don’t drive. It ain’t rocket science, people.

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