Tough new drink-driving laws that will come in on Monday are expected to be a problem for drivers who don't understand what a standard drink is or how long it can take for alcohol to leave their system.
Ahead of the introduction of the new penalties, which include an immediate three-month driving suspension and $561 fine for low-range drink-driving, an expert who presents part of a six-week driver's education program says many people are surprised by how easy it is to be caught drink-driving.
Orange PCYC Traffic Offenders Intervention Program alcohol and other drugs presenter Kassandra Gosling said many people who were referred to the program from the court did not understand the variables of Blood Alcohol Concentration.
She said the best advice was not to drink at all before driving.
It's not a case of I've had X amount of drink I will be right or not right, there's no way to keep track of those variables.Alcohol and other drugs presenter Kassandra Gosling
Mrs Gosling said many people did not realise that a lot of alcoholic drinks served in pubs, including schooners of beer or pre-mixed alcopops, were more than a standard drink.
"One schooner of [full-strength] beer is 1.6 standard drinks, if you have two of them after you knock-off after work you are having close to three standard drinks," she said.
"The other thing that we go through is taking into consideration is all the variables that affects an individuals BAC and how long it can take to get back to a zero reading."
Mrs Gosling said one case study featured an 18-year-old girl on a P1 licence who drank six mixer drinks, that equaled nine standard drinks between 10pm and 2am and it took 16 hours for her BAC to go from 0.24 to zero.
"It does take time for the alcohol to leave their system," Mrs Gosling said.
She said variables included the size, weight, age and health of the person drinking, container size, percent of alcohol by volume, amount consumed, rate consumed, food eaten and what other medications or other drugs are in a person's system.
"It's not a case of I've had X amount of drink I will be right or not right, there's no way to keep track of those variables," Mrs Gosling said.
Previously low-range drink-drivers who fell foul of the law could retain their licence until they appeared in court, where those with a good driving record could walk out without a conviction
The new laws could be appealed in court, however even people who are successful will have their driver's licence suspended before their court date.
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