Alcohol and mobility

You must not drive if you have drunk alcohol, that is, if you want to drive, do not drink alcohol
With every small blood alcohol level increase, the driver has a parallel increase to have a traffic accident.

In Spain, blood alcohol levels, that usually peak one hour after taking the last drink, have been generally limited to 0.5 grams per liter of blood.

However, some drivers of vehicles for school transport or public utility, transporting dangerous goods, and emergency services have limited the blood alcohol rate to 0.3 grams per liter of blood.

The reduction of the maximum rates of alcohol permitted to drive meets the objective of the General Directorate of Traffic to reduce the high accident rate occurring in Spanish roads.

With 0.8 g/l of alcohol in blood, the probability of suffering an accident is multiplied by 100 in contrast to those not reaching that limit.

According to the WHO, traffic accidents, intoxications, suicides, and homicides are the most frequent causes of death in young men due to alcohol.

Mortality rates change markedly vs women of this same age, since only over 9% of women die for this cause, in contrast to 25% of men.

In countries where advertising alcohol drinks is banned, this consumption is decreased by 16%, as compared to countries where no restriction is established, and deaths from traffic acids decrease by 23%.

“For young people, five additional minutes of advertising alcohol drinks a day means an increased regular alcohol consumption of five grams”, as assured by the WHO.

According to one of the latest studies published on alcohol consumption in Spain, the Practical Guide of intervention in alcoholism, published by the Narcotics Agency of the Community of Madrid, there are more than three million alcoholic people in our country.

Data from the Ministry of Health show that 12% of the citizens assure that they get drunk at least once a year, and 4% one or more time a week.

The number of people who get drunk daily amounts to 291,000 people, with a profile of a man between 19 and 28 years.

Forty-seven per cent of the population drinks more or less regularly, with an approximate alcohol consumption by person between 9 and 10 liters per inhabitant and year.

Also, from being a drink taken in the daily diet, it has turned to a substance taken, particularly by young people, compulsively during the weekends.

Between 16 and 25 years, 83% of the population drink regularly.

The mixture of alcohol and driving is the leading cause of death among young people, for the traffic accidents it causes.

The patterns of drinks have also changed and today beer is the alcoholic beverage most commonly used, taken in 36.3%, followed by wine, with almost 30% and cocktails, with almost 21%.

The figures in Spain show that this bad social habit, so extensively accepted, as we are the fifth country of the world in liters consumed, is a social problems that every year is taken more than 13,000 lives in our country due to cirrhosis, pancreatitis, victims of traffic accidents and other derived consequences, such as battering.

In Spain, there is not study that shows the number of disasters where alcohol is involved determinantly, basically because in most cases the test is not preformed in people dead in traffic accident.

However, the DGT estimates that in 38% of the accidents alcohol or drugs are involved.

Sixty-seven per cent of drunk drivers reduce their consumption when they are assisted at the hospital after suffering a traffic accident.

An advice of barely five minutes by professionals can reduce by 67% alcohol consumption and by 47% the percentage of drinkers at risk.

All drivers must complete alcohol tests if required by the County Traffic Police or Municipal Police. This issue has bee fully made clear by the Constitutional Court.

Furthermore, refusing to complete an alcohol test is considered as a crime against the safety of traffic.

  • Relationship between the alcohol consumed and the degree of blood alcohol.

As stated above, it depends on several factors but in general:

  • 4 g/L: 2 glasses of wine or 3 glasses of draught.
  • 6 g /L: 1 glass of whisky.
  • 8 g/l: 2 glasses of whisky or 5-6 glasses of draught, or 4-5 of wine.

As these data are not very reliable, the clearest advice is simply: “If you drink, do not drive.”

Advice on alcohol and mobility

You must not drive if you have drunk alcohol, that is, if you want to drive, do not drink alcohol.