Knowing how many units are contained in different drinks with differing volumes can be confusing. Units are the measure of how much alcohol is in a drink and one unit is the equivalent of 10ml of pure alcohol. The number of units in a bottle is shown on the back label and assumes an accurate volume is poured. Many home pours are substantially more than that and the number of units consumed can add up much quicker without realising. But there is one very simple rule to follow and that is if you know you may need to drive the same or following day then do not consume alcohol.
It is estimated that it can take an hour to get rid of each unit for an “average” person but alcohol absorption and processing is influenced by several factors so it can affect us all differently. After all none of us would call ourselves “average”! This can include age, height, weight, gender, how much we normally drink, health, medication, tiredness and even hot sunny days. It is therefore impossible to be accurate in how long it will take to get rid of each unit.
There are many old wives tales about how you can beat the system and effectively the breathalyser and we have looked at a few below:
- Put a copper coin under your tongue – the problem is that coins have not contained copper for decades but are actually plated steel (2.5%).
- Spray some mouth wash before using a breathalyser – the test is measuring deep lung air and the air freshener actually contains alcohol so can give false positives. This is why the police ask when you last consumed alcohol so they will wait at least 15 minutes.
- Eating a big meal soaks up the alcohol – Alcohol is absorbed into your blood stream not your stomach. Food slows down a persons metabolic rate so whilst they may feel less drunk it is because they are processing the alcohol more slowly and therefore it is in your system for longer.
- Drinking coffee will sober you up – It has no affect on the alcohol.
- Have a cold shower – Again it has no affect and many injuries occur from this as people fall over.
The only way to remove alcohol from your system is to wait and not to risk drinking and driving.
The consequences are simply not worth the risk!