Never a day pass, in which we don’t hear about accidents, hit-and-run and Saturday night tragedies here in Italy and it’s often alcohol which gets the blame. A sore point which won’t go away with schocking headlines and talk show discussions.
The relationship between alcohol and driving is largely a mystery. Not everyone knows the legal alcohol limit, and very few know how and when it enters the bloodstream. The legal limit for alcohol in the Body is 0,5 g/l but how is this limit reached. The effects of alcohol vary. A recent suevey from ISS (Instituto Superiore di Sanita), however, states that after a glass of wine, a pint of beer or a cocktail a person weighing 60 kg will have 0,2 g/l in his blood. So after two drinks the legal limit is reached, but there is also other factors at play. Such as the type of alcohol, whether drinking on an empty stomach or not, and who we are. A man reaches the legal limit slower than a woman. Weight is also a factor, the thinner we are the quicker we reach the limit.
Metabolism, varies from person to person and effects the speed at which we absorb alcohol. We must also consider the time taken for the alcohol to pass through our bodies, this again varies from person to person, but we can safely say that at least seven hours are needed.
Can we avoid incidents merely but understading how our bodies work, and is every wine-drinker a potential hit-and-run driver? Of cource not. The data collected by the “Associazione Sostenitori Amici Polizia Stradale and the magazine Il Centauro state that, since the the introduction of license point in 2003 there has been more than 65.000 cases of driving under the influence, however in the same period there has been 4.150 case of driving under the influence of drugs. Drink driving is a problem but it is often associated with the consumption of other, light drugs.
The most dangerous drinks seem to be beer and cocktails, because these are drunk by young people. Nobody’s going to stop you having a glass of wine, but it’s important to know the effects it has.