SAQ gives 5 myths about drinking and driving

Winter storms bringing high winds and ice, and the first completely unrestricted New Year’s Eve in two years, could create an explosive cocktail when it comes to traffic accidents.

Ahead of the holiday season, Quebec Automobile Insurance Commission (SAAQ) spokesperson Mario Vaillantourt and Éduc’alcool Executive Director Geneviève Desautels have debunked some persistent myths about drinking and driving. Dismantle.

Myth 1: Less than 80mg per 100ml of alcohol is safe to drive

The legal limit for driving is 80 mg of alcohol per 100 ml of blood. However, if the police judge that there is a disability, you may be arrested even if the amount is below this limit.

“Alcohol can be dangerous, even below the legal limit. The SAAQ found that drivers with a BAC between 50 and 80 mg/100 ml had a 4.5 times higher risk of fatalities than sober drivers. I presume,” said Vaillantourt. “Drinking will make you unable to drive. It’s not worth it because you risk accidents, injuries, death, arrest and even criminal prosecution.”

According to the Sûreté du Québec, “On average, between 2016 and 2022, alcohol was responsible for 25% of fatalities and 15% of serious injuries.”

Myth 2: No need to plan ahead

“Don’t have this conversation when you’ve been harmed. It’s going to be a stubborn argument with someone who is as unaware of the danger as you are,” said Desautels.

Some solutions should be taken before the event, such as having a designated driver. We also offer on-site accommodation, taxi service, Operation Nez Rouge volunteers, and public transportation.

However, please note that due to storms, Operation Nez Rouge services have been canceled in some areas.

Misconception 3: Your senses tell you if you’ve been drinking too much and driving too much

Assessing your own drunkenness is actually very difficult.

“Alcohol can impair your judgment and perception of risk, especially if you drink more than you need to,” says Desautels. “So when people say, ‘I think I’ll be fine,’ they’re not lying to us. They’re just lying to themselves under the influence of alcohol.”

Additionally, even if you stop drinking in the evening, your condition may get worse.

“After a few minutes, your body will absorb the alcohol and you’ll have more alcohol in your blood,” Vaillancourt said.

Alcohol takes up to 90 minutes to pass through your digestive system.

Myth #4: I drank the same amount of alcohol as last time and was fine, so don’t worry

Not everyone has the same tolerance, but the same person can react differently on different days.

“It could be our level of fatigue, or it could be drugs or drugs mixed with alcohol,” Vaillancourt said. may produce unintended effects such as drowsiness when mixed with alcohol.

You should also ask yourself: How much do you know about how many drinks you’ve had? After all, it’s not uncommon at drunken parties to top up wine when the host empties the cup.

Even if we avoid filling the cup before it is empty, the question remains whether the glass in question qualifies as a drink.

As Desautels points out, “Guests are encouraged to count their glasses, but if they count their glasses and drink 1 and 1/4 they count 1 drank. Every time, at the end of the night, I do the same calculation.”

Éduc’alcool offers on its website a tool for calculating standard drinks for different types of drinks.

Myth #5: I Know a Technique for Being Sober

Famous coffees, cold showers, grandma’s secret recipes, and even a large industrial glass of water do nothing. There is no quicker way to quit drinking.

“Time is the only thing that can significantly affect alcohol metabolism,” says Desautels. “And for that to happen, what we drink must pass through the digestive system and into the liver.”

This report by The Canaidan Press was first published in French on December 24, 2022.

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