Section 110 (3) of the Road Transport Act 2013 creates an offence of driving with the low range of prescribed concentration of alcohol.
The low range is determined as that blood alcohol concentration (BAC) between 0.05 and less than 0.08 grams alcohol per 100 mls of blood.
Section 110(3) states:
A person must not, while there is present in his or her blood the low range prescribed concentration of alcohol:
- (a) drive a motor vehicle, or
- (b) occupy the driving seat of a motor vehicle and attempt to put the motor vehicle in motion, or
- (c) if the person is the holder of an applicable driver licence (other than an applicable provisional licence or applicable learner licence) -occupy the seat in a motor vehicle next to a learner driver who is driving the vehicle.
Often those who are charged with this offence are somewhat surprised that they are over 0.05 and a common expression of dismay is along the lines of “I didn’t even feel affected”.
In all probability, a seasoned drinker, will not feel affected at 0.05 or even up to 0.08 which therefore behoves those who drink, to ensure that they will pass the test if stopped by police.
It is a good idea for those who choose to drink and drive, to ensure that they pace themselves so as not to go above the legal limit. There are some “rule of thumb” guidelines for male and female drinkers suggesting that the average male can consume two standard drinks in the first hour and one standard drink per hour thereafter, and the average female one standard drink in the first hour and one per hour thereafter, however these guidelines should be treated with caution, as there are a number of factors which affect people differently.
A better rule of thumb is – If you are going to drink – then don’t drive.