All to often we hear our clients tell us that they counted their drinks and waited a period before driving and being caught drink driving / PCA.


Counting Drinks is a popular concept amongst the community; however, it can be a deeply flawed tool for determining if you can drive or not. The safest and most effective way to combat this is to make arrangements to get home other than you driving.


A greater understanding of how alcohol effect the body will get you a better understanding of the counting the drinks strategy.


How Much Can I Drink

The level of alcohol in your blood is referred to as Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC). What this means is that for the alcohol limit of 0.05% there is 5 grams in 100 milliliters of your blood.


Each standard drink is will increase your alcohol limit by about 0.02% and take about an hour to break down. Each person’s ability to breakdown alcohol is vastly different. The only way to lower your BAC is time. The more drinks you have, the more time you need.

You cannot remove alcohol from your blood by vomiting, having a cold shower or drinking coffee.


This is where the method of counting drinks becomes so fraught with danger. There are many factors that influence a person’s ability to breakdown alcohol including: –

  • Gender – Males tend to break down alcohol at a greater rate than most females
  • Physical and Mental Health including Age
  • Medical Conditions
  • Use of other drugs and/or medications
  • Diet or food consumed

Alcohol can affect you more quickly if you:

  • drink on an empty stomach
  • have a lower tolerance to alcohol
  • have a lower percentage of fat and muscle on your body
  • are a young person
  • weigh less
  • don’t usually drink alcohol


What is a standard drink?

Source: Drinkwise, URL:


Alcohol Limits in NSW & penalties


I Have been caught drink driving, What do I do now?

You need to seek legal advice for each scenario. There are a number of factors that will impact on the advice your solicitor gives you including:

  • BAC reading (level/range of drink driving / PCA)
  • Manner of detection (RBT or manner of driving)
  • Past history of drink driving or traffic record
  • Number of years you have been driving and age

It is important to remember that any conviction even of drink driving, is recorded on your criminal record. This may affect future employment prospects and travel especially to countries like the United States.

Appropriate representation will ensure a fairer penalty is applied given the circumstances of offending and may even include a reduction in the disqualification or suspension of your driver’s license.

Catron Simmons Lawyers we can put forward the best case to ensure an appropriate and fair outcome supporting you through the court process.

Need legal advice? Catron Simmons can help.