Drinking and Driving
Safe driving requires good vision, sound judgment and fast reaction times. Alcohol, a depressant, impairs all three. Your ability to drive a car or any other vehicle safely, may be impaired at blood alcohol levels well below the legal limit.
The message is clear: alcohol and driving don’t mix. If you drink and drive you run a real risk of killing or injuring yourself and others. You also run the risk of being arrested and convicted of drunk driving – an experience that involves court costs, legal fees, higher car insurance rates, fines, loss of license and/or imprisonment.
If you’re going round to friends for supper, out on the town or just going for a drink or two, the best advice is to agree a non-drinking designated driver before you go out for the evening, or to arrange a taxi/transport to take you home.
What is BAC?
BAC stands for blood alcohol concentration – that is the amount of alcohol in the blood stream and it is how the police measure how much you have been drinking.
This is a term used for a non alcohol drinking driver nominated by a group of people before they go out to ensure they get home safely at the end of the evening.
If you’re going as a group and taking a car then decide beforehand who’s going to be the designated driver. You could all buy non-alcoholic drinks for him or her, and pay for the petrol too.
Other ways of getting home safely
The key to getting home safely is planning ahead with your mates. At the start of your night out, think about how you and your friends will get home, keep enough money aside, find out the time of public transport or have a reliable taxi number to hand and never go home on your own.
If you have to walk home, don’t walk through unlit or unsafe areas and avoid walking on your own. Don’t let your friends wander off by themselves either, especially if they’re drunk.
The letter of the law
In Malta, drivers can be stopped and checked by the police for their BAC levels. A driver found to be in excess of the 0.08BAC limit can be subject to criminal proceedings, which can lead to a fine and/or suspension fo driving license. Repeated offenses can also lead to imprisonment.
For your safety, your certificate of conduct and the safety of others, it is best to refrain from drinking if you intend to drive.