Happy New Year
We would like to wish everyone a Happy New Year and all the best for 2018. With everyone gearing up to celebrate, Although we cannot list all the possible dangers out there we would like to point out a few about mixing alcohol heat and driving
Alcohol, Water, and Hot Weather
Periods of extremely hot weather (like the heat waves currently blanketing the country) can cause serious health problems for everyone.
When we attend a hot outdoor event, being unaccustomed to the sun, heat, and increased humidity, some people have problems dealing with the extreme variation of circumstances.
Normally, the body cools itself by sweating. If temperatures and humidity are extremely high, however, sweating is not effective in maintaining the body’s normal temperature. When this happens, blood chemistry can change and internal organs–including the brain and kidneys–can be damaged. Heat also can be stressful if the temperature changes suddenly, since it usually takes several days for the body to adjust to heat.
One of the most overlooked risks of summertime is drinking alcohol.
If you think boozing it up good idea – you should think again.
Drinking alcohol in the hot summer weather can leave you dehydrated, confused and more susceptible to accidents and injuries.
Heat and acts as a diuretic, meaning it causes the body to lose more fluid through urine, resulting in dehydration. If fluids in the body are not replaced, such as by drinking water, you could suffer a heat-related illness, like heat stroke.
In fact, one main danger of drinking during the hot summer weather is the risk of heat stroke caused by dehydration. When the body’s temperature rises, we sweat and the sweat evaporates to cool the body.
However, in hot, humid weather, the sweat does not evaporate properly and body heat rises. The body then tries to sweat even more in order to cool itself down
the first includes heat cramps due to loss of sodium while sweating. Second is heat exhaustion caused by dehydration. Heatstroke, the third and most serious stage, can lead to shock, organ failure, and death.
Alcohol consumption can also affect the central nervous system causing a person to lose inhibitions resulting in poor judgement and recklessness.
What is a Heatwave
A heatwave is any long period of very hot weather, usually ranging from 37°C to 42°C.
During heatwaves, there is an increase in emergency calls from people suffering heat-related illnesses. While the very young and the elderly are most at risk, anyone can be affected.
Heat-related illness occurs when the body absorbs too much heat. This may happen slowly over a day or two of very hot weather. Act quickly to avoid serious—or even fatal—effects of fully developed heat stroke.
The risks of drinking alcohol
Many people consider alcohol to be part of the Australian culture and way of life. But drinking doesn’t always equate to a good time.
There are harms associated with drinking too much both on a single occasion These can be serious and even life threatening.
Consequences of drinking too much on a single occasion
Statistics show that the serious consequences caused by drinking too much on a single occasion generally fall into three categories:
- Health/safety– Injury is the most likely effect (for example falls, vehicle accidents and assaults), but you can also overdose on alcohol.
- Legal – Alcohol contributes to criminal behaviour such as assaults, property damage, disorderly or offensive behaviour, and drink driving.
- Social – Problems can range from losing friends because of the way you act when you’re drunk to not being able to pay bills because of excessive spending
Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC)
Although it varies between individuals, there is a relationship between the concentration of alcohol in the blood (Blood Alcohol Concentration) and its effects.
The body will only process around one standard drink per hour. This means, for every standard drink you have, it will take one hour for your BAC to return back to 0.00g%.
Alcohol starts to affect the brain within five minutes of being consumed. The blood alcohol concentration (BAC) peaks about 30 to 45 minutes after one standard drink is consumed. Rapid consumption of multiple drinks results in a higher BAC because on average, a person can only break down one standard drink per hour.
The effects of alcohol vary depending on a number of factors including:
- type and quantity of alcohol consumed
- age, weight and gender
- body chemistry
- food in the stomach
- drinking experience
- situation in which drinking occurs
- mental health status
- other health conditions made worse by alcohol
Safe drink driving? There’s no such thing.
Australia has strict laws about drinking alcohol and driving, with the legal limit set at 0.05 blood alcohol concentration (BAC). Learners and probationary licence-holders must have a 0.00 BAC.
Even after just a few drinks, your driving ability is affected. The more you drink, the higher your blood alcohol concentration, and the greater your chance of having an accident.
If you know you are going to be drinking, make alternative plans for getting home. Arrange a lift with a friend who isn’t drinking,
A little over the limit? Twice as likely to crash.
How alcohol affects your driving
If you drink alcohol and drive, you’re likely to find it difficult to:
- concentrate properly
- judge the distance between your car and other vehicles
- judge the speed of your vehicle
- keep your balance if you are riding a motorbike
- notice traffic lights, pedestrians and other hazards
- see and hear normally
- stay awake
- react appropriately to things going on around you, particularly if an unexpected hazard should suddenly appear.
BAC LEVEL EFFECTS FROM ALCOHOL FROM DRIVING 0.02 TO 0.05
- Reduced ability to see or locate moving lights correctly
- Reduced ability to judge distances
- Increased tendency to take risk
- Decreased ability to respond
BAC LEVEL EFFECTS FROM ALCOHOL FROM DRIVING 0.05
- Twice as likely to have a crash tan before drinking
BAC LEVEL EFFECTS FROM ALCOHOL FROM DRIVING 0.05 to 0.08
- Further reduction in ability to judge distances
- Impaired sensitivity to red lights
- Slower reactions
- Shorter concentration span
BAC LEVEL EFFECTS FROM ALCOHOL FROM DRIVING 0.08
- Five times more likely to have a crash than before drinking
BAC LEVEL EFFECTS FROM ALCOHOL FROM DRIVING 0.08 to 0.12
- Overestimate abilities
- “Euphoria” sets in
- Reckless driving
- Impaired peripheral vision (resulting in accidents due to hitting vehicles while passing)
- Impaired perception of obstacles
- Ten times more likely to have a crash than before drinking