Road users using an unmotorised vehicle under the influence of alcohol or other intoxicants and thereby endangering the safety of others may be found guilty of driving an unmotorised vehicle while intoxicated. Relinquishing a vehicle to an intoxicated person can also have severe legal repercussions.

The driver of a motor vehicle is guilty of driving while intoxicated if:

  1. his or her blood alcohol level is at least 0.05% during or immediately after the drive, or his or her exhalation contains at least 0.22 milligrammes of alcohol per one litre of air.
  2. the driver has consumed narcotics so that during or after operating the vehicle he or she has the active substance of the narcotic used, or its metabolic product, in the blood (except for medical products that the driver has the right to use).
  3. the driver has consumed an intoxicant other than alcohol, or an intoxicant other than alcohol combined with alcohol, to such an extent that his or her capacity to perform as required in the operation of the vehicle is reduced.

Drink driving is classified as an aggravated offence if

  1. the blood alcohol content is at least 0.12%, or 0.53 milligrammes of alcohol per litre of exhaled air.
  2. the offender’s capacity to perform as required in the operation of the vehicle is significantly reduced.
  3. the offender has used an intoxicant other than alcohol, or an intoxicant other than alcohol combined with alcohol, to such an extent that his or her capacity to perform as required in the operation of the vehicle is significantly reduced and the conditions are such that the offence is conducive to causing serious danger to the safety of others.

The penalties for driving while intoxicated, driving while seriously intoxicated, operating an unmotorised vehicle while intoxicated and relinquishing a vehicle to an intoxicated person are specified in Chapter 23 of the Penal Code of Finland.

Blood alcohol level elevates the risk of accidents

Even a low level of alcohol in the blood has a negative effect on driving ability and increases the risk of accidents. The risk of accidents increases dramatically as the blood alcohol content exceeds 0.05%. Once the blood alcohol level reaches 0.16%, the driver’s likelihood of being involved in an accident has increased 40-fold compared to a sober driver.

Burning off alcohol

Alcohol is eliminated from the body by burning. The liver burns off pure alcohol at a rate of one gramme per 10 kilogrammes of body weight. The blood alcohol level depends on the person’s weight. For women, one standard drink of alcohol increases the blood alcohol more than for men. This is due to their bodies having a lower proportion of fluid.

Elevating the blood alcohol level over the drink driving limit (0.05%) takes approximately three standard drinks. One standard drink (a bottle of beer, 12 cl of wine or 4 cl of spirits) contains 12–14 grammes of alcohol. It takes about two hours for one standard drink to be burned off by the body.

A hangover also has many adverse effects on driving ability. Drivers must carefully assess their driving ability on the day following alcohol consumption.

#brave

Be #brave is a Finnish road safety campaign to stop drink driving. You can be #brave and stop a friend from driving drunk.

Themes: