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Feb 22

Ever Had One of Those Days?

Confused man

It’s hard to suppress a smile when reading the sorry tale of this hapless individual who went to a job interview with the UK Police Force, but instead of landing himself a dream job in I.T., was promptly arrested and charged with drink-driving…

I mean, turning up for a job interview. With the Police. At a Police Center. In your car. Drunk!

Our hapless hero, a UK man in his 50’s, arrived at his interview with Greater Manchester Police “reeking of alcohol” according to his would-be interviewer. Given that this was on Police premises, and the man had driven himself to the interview, the interviewer did what all good cops’ do and called another cop!

Escorted from the building by a traffic officer and breathalysed, the man was (surprise, surprise) found to be over the drink-drive limit and arrested.

After a follow-up test at a local Police Station provided a further positive result, the man was officially charged with drink-driving.

Now here’s where the story really gets interesting on a number of levels; the man claimed he had shared a bottle of wine with his wife the previous evening (presumably falling back on the old “innocent me” excuse of, “I had no idea it was still in my system…”).

Now to be fair, this kind of drinking behaviour has caught many people out in the past, particularly when the ‘previous evening’ didn’t finish until 5am, but let’s look a little more closely at this case.

The man gave a reading of 46 micrograms per 100 millilitres of breath. In England and Wales, the alcohol limit for drivers is 35 micrograms per 100 millilitres of breath.

On the face of it, that’s not too much above the limit in relative terms (makes you wonder why he was still “reeking of alcohol”).

But the more interesting question relates to the amount he claimed to have consumed, and the time period in which he consumed it.

So, if he drank ½ bottle of wine, as he claimed, then he would have consumed around 5 units of alcohol, assuming an abv (alcohol by volume) of 14%:

(375ml x 14) ÷ 1000 = 5.25

Now as a rule of thumb, it takes approximately 1 hour for every unit of alcohol consumed to completely burn up all the alcohol from the blood system.

So if we start the clock from the moment our hapless hero finished his last drink, then it would take approximately 5 hours to eliminate the alcohol completely.

So this leaves us to ponder on the following possibilities.

  • He drank far more than he admitted to the previous evening
  • He drank the wine very late in the evening (read early hours of the morning).
  • His ½ bottle contained something much more potent than wine
  • Or he had a little “pick me up” to settle his nerves for the interview

In any event, you have to wonder what possessed him to take such a foolish chance – or perhaps he was just ignorant to the amount of time it takes to fully eliminate alcohol from the system.

It’s worth noting, however, that the above “rule of thumb” is just that – in practice the amount of alcohol you would need to drink to be considered over the driving limit varies from person to person. It depends, amongst other things on:

  • Your weight, age, sex and metabolism (the rate your body uses energy)
  • The type and amount of alcohol you’re drinking
  • What you’ve eaten recently
  • Your stress levels at the time

If you are in any doubt about your fitness to drive you should avoid doing so.

Anyway, as a final postscript to our story, the hapless hero subsequently appeared before the local magistrates and was banned from driving for a year.

He fought the law and the law won.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Permanent link to this article: http://kick-the-drink.co.uk/archives/2125

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