Public education campaigns across the country over the last few decades have made great inroads to reducing the incidence of drink driving, and as a result the road toll due to alcohol has steadily fallen from its peak in the 1970s. However, the message has not reached some people who still get behind the wheel after a drinking session without considering the damage they can cause.

Read on to discover some of the potential consequences of drink driving.

Dulled senses

As a depressant, alcohol dulls the senses. This leads to slower reaction times and impaired judgement, meaning drivers affected by alcohol react more slowly to potential hazards (if they notice them at all). Alcohol can also affect your judgement, causing inhibitions to diminish and confidence to increase, leading to a belief that you are safe to drive when you are not. This combination can have terrible consequences for drivers, passengers, other road users and pedestrians.

Loss of licence

Depending on how far over the blood alcohol limit you are, the penalty can range from a short suspension to a full cancellation of your driver's licence. The impact on people who drive for a living (or where driving is their only option to travel to their place of business) is that they may lose their employment.


Incidents caused by drink driving can result in horrific injuries, from broken bones to organ damage, brain damage and permanent paralysis. These injuries can be life threatening, and survivors may take a very long time to recover. Injuries place enormous strain on the families of victims and on an already overburdened health system. Since the driver tends to be the most protected person in a vehicle, it is common for the drink driver to receive less serious injuries than their passengers.


The most severe consequence of drink driving is death. Frequently, it is not the drink driver who loses his or her life but passengers in their car, occupants of other vehicles, cyclists and pedestrians. In addition to the grief of victims' family members and friends, drink driving leading to the death of others may result in serious criminal charges, prison time, family breakdown and a lifelong feeling of deep regret for the damage wreaked upon so many people.

The consequences of drink driving are severe and far reaching. If you are in a situation where there is the slightest chance that you are over the blood alcohol limit, keep your keys in your pocket and find another way to get home. If you have received a penalty notice for drink driving, it is highly recommended that you contact a firm of specialist drink driving lawyers, such as GC Traffic Lawyers, to obtain expert legal advice. Penalties differ according to the severity of the offence. Legal experts will examine your case in detail and advise you on your options according to the local law. In less severe situations, they may be able to help negotiate restricted terms for returning your driving licence in order to retain your job or represent you in court if the case requires it.