GP’s warning over ‘dangerous hacks’ that claim to mask drink before you drive

Enjoying a drink or two with friends and family over Christmas is a part of the holiday season.

But if you’re going to treat yourself, we all know that the rule is never drink and drive, as the consequences can lead to serious injury and even death.

If you're having a drink this Christmas, avoid driving altogether, experts warn


If you’re having a drink this Christmas, avoid driving altogether, experts warnPhoto credit: Getty

It is best to avoid alcohol altogether when driving,

However, many myths claim to mask the smell of alcohol or even make you “less drunk.”

But one GP has warned that you should never get involved with it.

Speaking to The Sun, London-based NHS GP Dr. Ross Perry, the bottom line is that there’s no way to cover up whether or not you’ve been drinking – and you shouldn’t try when it comes to driving.

He said if you’re driving it’s best not to drink at all.

In the UK, the legal limit for alcohol consumption is 80 milligrams of alcohol per 100 milliliters of blood or 35 micrograms of alcohol per 100 milliliters of breath.

In Scotland, the limit is 50 milligrams of alcohol per 100 milliliters of blood or 22 micrograms of alcohol per 100 milliliters of breath, according to the Met Police.

The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) states that it is not possible to accurately convert this into units of alcohol or how many drinks meet these guidelines as it is completely different for each person.

dr Perry of Cosmedics said: “In light of drinking and driving, there is an absolute rule not to drink when you intend to drive and there should be no exclusions or ways around this – whether by drinking and eating or trying to find other ways to do this in the form of a time delay.

He added that alcohol smells on your breath, but it can also pass through your body’s sweat glands.

“This is also evident the morning after, especially when people are hungover after drinking excessive amounts of alcohol,” the GP said.

The aldehyde — alcohol’s breakdown product — can seep through the body’s natural sweating process and cause a possible alcoholic odor, as well as what can be smelled on your breath, he explained.

dr Perry added that showering, using perfume, and breath mints may help mask the smell to some extent.

“However, there is no surefire way other than to stop drinking,” he said.

The NHS states that you should not drink more than 14 units of alcohol per week spread over 3 days or more.

That’s about 6 medium (175ml) glasses of wine or six pints of 4 proof beer, according to the instructions.

There’s no such thing as a completely safe drinking level, but following these guidelines lowers the risk of damaging your health, the experts add.

How to get help with your alcohol

There are many helpful resources and tools to help you with your drinking problems.

Drinkline – Call 0300 123 1110 (weekdays 9am to 8pm, weekends 11am to 4pm).

Alcoholics Anonymous – free support group offering a 12 week plan

Al-Anon – A group for family members or friends struggling to help a loved one

Adfam – a national charity working with families affected by drugs and alcohol

National Association for Children of Alcoholics (Nacoa – Helpline for Children with Alcoholic Parents – call 0800 358 3456

Many people may drink more than usual over Christmas.

But that doesn’t mean people don’t notice the amount of alcohol you’ve consumed, cautions alcohol coach Sandra Parker.

She said: “A lot of people tell themselves all sorts of things to convince themselves that people aren’t going to notice how much they’ve been drinking, but the reality is they do.

“Their voices change, their facial expressions change, their faces get redder, their eyes change and almost go limp, their reaction times change, balance can change, and the voice can almost go into an arc.

“And it’s impossible to mask or counteract those things.

“We’re less able to handle our emotions, we won’t be as sharp when we talk to people.”

Sandra, an expert at Just The Tonic Coaching, said some people think getting sick is a surefire way to stop the effects of alcohol.

This may feel like a relief at first, she added, adding it will do nothing to lessen alcohol’s effects on your brain.

She said: “It might temporarily relieve the nausea, but that’s just one of the symptoms associated with excessive drinking.

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“It won’t do anything about your bad mood after you’ve been sick, and it won’t do anything about your blurry head.

“You can’t mask these symptoms with caffeine, food, or anything else because nothing counteracts the chemical levels in your body.” GP’s warning over ‘dangerous hacks’ that claim to mask drink before you drive

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