Drink driving in a crime in most countries when over a certain limit, and none more so than Australia that is one of the few countries with legal limits in the range of .05% Blood Alcohol reading will register a criminal conviction. So in the Craft Beer world we know we drink beer in a very high range, that often comes in between 6-10% and on other occasions its as much as 15%.
So in todays Sydney Morning Herald this story appeared about a woman who had to feed her cat so she drove home, but not before slamming the car into a tree first. She registered a reading of .245% which is 5 times the legal limit and in other terminology 2.5% of her blood is alcohol induced. This is what we often regard as a ‘Drunk Driver’ with whom we all agree we hate, or detest for endangering not only ourselves, but our community.
In Australia most beer is actually between 4-5% in alcohol volume, except in a few brewpubs or beer bars that may have stronger beer. In the low range of beer, you can drink a few small glasses in an hour with food. In our craft beer world its very different, 1 beer (pint) an hour of 6% beer in an average male would give us a reading of roughly .04-.05%. In the US you are fine to drive as its .08%, but in British Columbia Canada the new law is 72 hour suspension for a reading between .05-.08. Rest of Canada is still .08%, but it is up to the officer in whether to give a 24 hour no record suspension.
The BC Laws came into place in 2010, and I feel will be in place until a Lawyer gets pinged and takes the province to court over lack of accuracy of the reading machine. You cannot refuse a breathylizer test, but you can argue the accuracy of the reading device in court. Not that I have done it, but law is all based on ‘inadequacies’ of fact.
Like some of my ‘beer’ friends who drink like me, and travel between bar, pubs and brewpubs buy yourself a device online that can help detect your range. If you wouldn’t drink a bottle of wine and drive over dinner, then having 2 pints in an hour of craft beer is also too much. Use common sense, but don’t be drunk and stupid about feeding your cat as an excuse. Remember when drunk we make stupid decisions, don’t always think properly and think we can run countries, manage NHL teams, and win the world series from our bar stool and beat the crap out of anyone. But don’t fucking drive drunk.
Tips from my Experience
- Use Transit or Stay in hotels near pubs you visit (within 10-15minutes cab ride)
- Tell your barmen if your driving, and a drink before cut off time (Common sense should prevail)
- Water after every beer won’t help alcohol level, so eat some food if drinking (Water rehydrates only)
- Wait 20-30 minutes before driving home after you last beer, if you get asked by a police office when your last drink was say within 5 minutes, they by law have to wait 20 minutes before testing
- MYTH – Mouthwash wears off within 3 minutes (tested this myself)
- Buy a $100-200 Breathylzyer machine for your car (Remember a Criminal Record costs more)
- Order Half Pints if you know your driving, even if its happy hour, half a pint of beer may be the difference if driving
I DON’T Condone Drunk Driving but know many people drink and still drive between brewpubs or bar, so I have issue with ‘levels’ and legal tolerance levels. Download a series from Australia that shows Drunk Driver road stops that are very common in Australia, its called Highway Patrol and they charge people whether they are .050 or .08. Though in Australia 40-50% of cases that go to court are not charged by Judges. There definitely is a gap in this area, but not in being drunk and still driving.
Though I find Drunk Blog Writing Quite Fun.. only way to let the words flow.. Please note I now do not own a car and live in Sydney, where drinking high range alcohol Craft Beer is not as much an issue as in the US or Canada.
Another post I wrote was on this issue in Drink Driving & Craft Beer