Most crashes involving alcohol happen in what the experts call ‘high
alcohol hours’ – mostly weeknights (particularly Thursday, Friday and
Saturday nights) and weekends.
During these hours about 57 per cent of fatal crashes are alcohol-related.
Outside of these hours (known as ‘low alcohol hours’) only 16 per cent of
fatal crashes are alcohol-related. So, it is more dangerous to drive on Friday
and Saturday nights as other drivers are more likely to be affected by alcohol.
It is worth noting that drivers with alcohol in their blood are not only more
likely to crash, but more likely to die if severely injured in a crash. Alcohol
has an adverse effect on your body when it is trying to cope with injuries
and associated problems such as blood loss. The emergency medical
treatment of injured drivers affected by alcohol is also much harder than
treating injured drivers with no alcohol in their system. Avoiding driving
when you have been drinking not only reduces your risk of crashing but
also reduces your chance of dying if you are seriously injured. So staying
with a zero BAC when driving gives you an edge. It is the safest BAC for
driving regardless of your licence type.
KEY POINTS SUMMARY: ALCOHOL AND DRIVING
• Alcohol is a contributing factor in about 20 per cent of fatal crashes
and five per cent of those causing injury.
• More than half the drivers killed have a BAC of 0.15 or more – three
times the legal limit of 0.05 for full licence holders.
• Staying below 0.05 is hard as not everyone takes the same number
of alcoholic drinks to reach this limit.
• Women and people of both sexes who don’t weigh a lot get to higher
• Men are more likely to drink and drive and more likely to be involved
in alcohol-related crashes.
• Alcohol reduces your ability to concentrate and to look for and
respond to hazards when driving.
• Alcohol slows your reflexes when you need to take action such as
• Alcohol increases the risk of a crash. Even at a 0.05, crash risk is
about twice what it is at zero.
• The safest BAC for driving is zero.
• About 57 per cent of fatal crashes in ‘high alcohol hours’ are alcoholrelated.
• High intake of alcohol occurs mostly weeknights (particularly
Thursday and Friday nights) and weekends.
• Drivers with alcohol in their blood are not only more likely to crash,
but more likely to die if severely injured in a crash.
• Staying with a zero BAC when driving gives you an edge. It is the safest
BAC for driving regardless of your licence type.