Drinking single beer or wine too much to drive safely – new research

A detailed study by neuroscientists from the University of Sussex has found that drinking even such relatively low amounts is enough to significantly compromise a person’s ‘sense of agency’ – ability to function. And they warned that the findings could have significant ramifications for drink driving laws. Dr Silvana De Pirro, lead author of the research paper, said: “Our study presents a compelling case that even one pint of beer is enough to significantly compromise a person’s sense of agency. “This has important implications for legal and social responsibility of drivers, and begs the question: are current alcohol limits for driving truly safe?”

In England and Wales, the alcohol limit for drivers is 80 milligrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood, 35 microgrammes per 100 millilitres of breath or 107 milligrammes per 100 millilitres of urine.

That tends to be the equivalent of two pints of normal strength beer for a man, or a large glass of average strength wine for a woman.

However, anyone crossing the border in Scotland should be aware.

Since 2014, the limit was reduced to 50 milligrammes of alcohol in every 100 millilitres of blood, with the breath alcohol equivalent reduced to 22 microgrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres of breath.

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