Debunk the myths Change the conversationMany ridiculous myths exist concerning driving while impaired by alcohol or drugs. Debunk them!
- “I can drink alcohol in a limousine”
Despite what we see in movies, drinking alcohol in a limousine, or any other vehicle, is prohibited. It should also be mentioned that wearing a seat belt is mandatory when the vehicle is in motion. Other important points: No more than 8 passengers are allowed, the rental company must have a taxi permit and the licence plate must begin with “TS”.
- “I am in no condition to drive. I can sleep a few hours in my car to sober up. ”
If your faculties are impaired by alcohol or drugs, the law doesn't just prohibit driving a vehicle, but also having the care or control of a vehicle (To learn more).However, if you haven't been drinking, and you're too tired to drive, it is better to sleep before hitting the road.
- “I only drank cocktails. I don't feel the effects of alcohol as much.”
Cocktails are no less dangerous than other alcoholic beverages: two ounces of alcohol is still two ounces of alcohol, whether it is mixed with fruit juice or not.A cocktail is not always as light at it seems. Beware of drinks mixed without a jigger.
- “I know a trick to decrease my blood alcohol level.”
Oh really? In fact, there are no such tricks.Your liver eliminates almost all of the alcohol, so to sober up, you have to wait for the liver to do its work.Remember that the concentration of alcohol in your blood continues to increase and reaches its maximum one hour after your last drink. Then it decreases by an average of 15 mg per hour, or the equivalent of one drink. The body takes several hours just to completely eliminate a few drinks. For example, to eliminate 70 mg of alcohol, you need to wait 5 hours. But beware! Alcohol elimination varies from one person to the next. Various factors have to be considered: sex, weight, having recently eaten or not, etc. There is no universal mathematical rule.Moreover, taking a cold shower, going for a walk or dancing till you drop will not lessen the effects of alcohol. Beware of energy drinks: they mask the drowsiness caused by alcohol, but your abilities remain impaired.
- “I had a hearty meal after a few drinks. There's no risk if I drive.”
If you drink on an empty stomach, the alcohol passes directly into the small intestine and from there into the bloodstream and brain. There are no barriers to the absorption of alcohol, which literally goes straight to your head. Eating after consuming alcohol changes nothing. The alcohol is already in your system. It is too late. Eating a late-night poutine has no effect on your blood alcohol level!
- “I got 0.07 on a wall-mounted breathalyzer test. There's no risk if I drive.”
Wall-mounted breathalyzer tests (often located near the doors or bathrooms in bars) or the little low-cost tubes you can buy can indicate your blood-alcohol level, but they can't measure your ability to drive. Alcohol intolerance, fatigue, stress or taking other substances (legal or illegal drugs) do not increase your blood-alcohol concentration, but those factors do increase the effect of alcohol to the point where you are at a greater risk of having an accident or being arrested for impaired driving.
- “Men have a higher tolerance for alcohol than women.”
For the same amount of alcohol consumed and at the same weight, women usually have a slightly higher blood alcohol level. However, a person's sex has a fairly negligible effect compared to other parameters that come into play in blood-alcohol concentration: weight, rate of alcohol absorption by the stomach, fatigue, drug intake, etc. Moreover, a man can have the same blood-alcohol level as a woman, even if they drank the same amount of alcohol.
- “When I've been smoking pot, I feel like I'm in perfect control.”
As in “laid back”?As does any other drug, marijuana affects your ability to drive. Under the influence of marijuana, reaction time increases, controlling the vehicle's trajectory is more difficult and coordination of movements is not as good. You therefore have twice the risk of being involved in a deadly accident.
- “Police officers cannot detect if a driver is under the influence of drugs.”
Police can assess drivers' ability to drive by giving them physical coordination tests on the side of the road. If necessary, a drug recognition expert will perform a more extensive assessment at the police station. Learn more
- “I've been drinking or smoking, but I'm not going far, so it doesn't matter.”
A large number of accidents occur near the home.When a route is familiar, drivers tend to pay less attention and switch to “auto-pilot”, which means that their vigilance is decreased. Drivers will therefore need a lot more time to react to an unexpected situation, especially if they are under the effects of alcohol or drugs.
- “It's cool to drink and drive.”
It is not socially acceptable or cool to drink and drive.On the contrary, it is quite stupid. Nothing can justify driving under the influence.
- “I can always take back roads to avoid the police.”
Drivers who are impaired tend to take back roads to avoid running into the police, but the risk of having an accident is the same.Also, police officers know about this technique and increase their surveillance in less busy areas.