Friday, July 08, 2005

The Drink Wheel

Whilst looking on the internet for a law report I stumbled across the Drink Wheel. This is a web page maintained by Intoximeters Inc. who are the company that provide most of the drink drive equipment to the UK Police. If you look at the Drink Wheel you can enter different bits of information about what types of drink you have had, over what period of time, and how much you weight to calculate your likely breath reading.

Personally I think anyone who is prepared to drink and drive, and base their calculations of whether they are safe to drive on web site are absolutely mad. My advice is don't do it - if you are going to drink then don't drive. Generally, anyone caught drink driving will get a minimum 12 month ban from driving in addition to another penalty that can be up to 6 months imprisonment (provided you have not killed someone on the road or caused another offence other than just drink driving). Get caught twice in ten years and the minimum ban from driving will be three years.

The best bit of information from the Drink Wheel is the section setting out what the result of a breath test actually means:
  • 0 µg/100 ml of breath - This is the only safe BAC level.
  • 10 µg/100 ml of breath - The BAC limit for drivers in some countries.
  • 24 µg/100 ml of breath - The BAC limit for many countries (approximate).
  • 38 µg/100 ml of breath - The BAC limit for most countries (approximate).
  • 48 µg/100 ml of breath - The BAC limit for drivers in almost every country is no higher than this.
  • 150 µg/100 ml of breath - At this level most people willconsciousnessusness.
  • 200 µg/100 ml of breath - At this level most people will become comatose and may die.

In Britian the drink drive limit is 38 µg/100 ml of breath. Bizarrely I have dealt with a number of people who have given a reading in excess of 150 µg/100 ml of breath who did not loose consciousness. I have even sat in Court and heard people being prosecuted for having readings over 200 µg/100 ml of breath who clearly did not fall in to a comatose state because ablewere abvle to give a breath reading!


Anonymous said...

38? I'm sure the limit is 35. I know, it's picky!

Gavin said...

Nearly there. 34 is okay, 35 is over the limit!

See what drink does to you, I am giving out misleading information!

Thanks for pointing that out.

Anonymous said...


The comatose ones probably do not drive much.

Anonymous said...

I plugged in 4 pints in three hours and it said 2/3 of legal limit, I'm sorry - by that point I will be fairly far gone and nowhere near any urge to drive, this information seems seriously off and as you said not to be depended on in any way.