A Safe Holiday Season - Driving and Ethanol Are NOT a Mix.

Dec 2, 2019

DAUPHIN TAXI - 204-638-3315

DAUPHIN RIDE PROGRAM - 204-638-5707

By Barret Procyshyn, Family Pharmacist at Dauphin Clinic Pharmacy.

Christmas is a great time to year to have fun catching up with friends, having some holiday cheer away from work with colleagues; and of course spending quality time with family. Some people might even need a little more Christmas cheer when having to spend time with those beloved in-laws or crazy aunt.

Regardless the circumstance, you have to say no to drinking and driving. There was a time when having a few drinks and getting behind the wheel was socially acceptable. We have all heard the stories about the old days when everybody did it. Drinking and driving has just cost our society too much. You absolutely cannot get behind the wheel when you have consumed more than a couple of drinks.

The active ingredient in beer, wine, and liquor is ethyl alcohol, or ethanol, commonly referred to as alcohol. The process known as fermentation produces alcohol. When yeast is fermented, sugar breaks down into two chemicals: carbon dioxide and alcohol. Carbon dioxide is released in the process through gas bubbles and leaves behind a combination of water and ethanol.

Alcohol is simply a sugar source and yeast, with different sources of sugar producing different types of alcohol. Once the sugars are ready for use, yeast is added, and the fermentation process begins.

The ethanol in your drink is what effects your brain. You drink alcohol it goes into your stomach and is absorbed into the bloodstream. From the blood it makes its way across the blood brain barrier and into the brain. Alcohol has a profound effect on many areas of the brain. It had the ability to block chemical signals between brain cells, leading to the common symptoms of intoxication. This of course includes impulsive behavior, slurred speech, poor memory, and slowed reflexes. All of these can lead to disaster if you get behind the wheel of a vehicle, ATV, or snowmobile.

The amount of alcohol required to create intoxication varies greatly between people and the situation. Impairment starts with the first drink. Remember the RCMP measure your blood alcohol concentration, whether you "feel" intoxicated does not matter. As a rough guide a 100lb male will have a BAC (blood alcohol content) of 0.08 after two drinks. A 200lb male will have a BAC of about 0.04 after two drinks, while 4 drinks will put it at about 0.08. For 100lb female 2 drinks will create a BAC of 0.09 and for a 200lb female its 0.05. The heavier you are, the more fluid you have, which will create a lower blood alcohol concentration. Eating food delays and even prevents alcohol absorption, so keep that is mind as well. Coffee, showers and running around the vehicle will not sober you up the body needs time. In most people your body can clear 1 drink per hour.

Manitoba is taking a strong stance on drinking and driving. If you register a blood alcohol concentration of between 0.05 and 0.079 you will receive an automatic suspension ranging from 3 to 60 days, depending on prior history. Its also going to cost you when you renew your license because they will take away points and you must pay to get your license reinstated.

You will also move five levels down the Driver Safety Rating scale and be required to pay a driver's license reinstatement charge, $400 in admin fees and vehicle impoundment. Refusing a breathalyzer now gets you in even more trouble, while blowing over the 0.08 BAC level gets you in even more trouble, possible criminal charges, impoundment and a very empty wallet. Keep in mind, the other possibility of you changing your life and someone else's in an accident.

Dauphin Clinic Pharmacy along with many other local businesses help support the ride program, which services Dauphin and the local area. Volunteers will take your vehicle home and give you a ride home when needed. The Dauphin RIDE Program will operate on the following Friday's and Saturday's, from 9pm to 3am: December 6th, 7th, 13th, 14th, 20th and 21st; also, on New Year's Eve (December 31st). If you would like to volunteer or sponsor the Dauphin RIDE Program, please call John at 204-638-7181. Save the RIDE program in your phone - the number is 204-638-5707.

Please this holiday season, have fun. If you burn the turkey or challenge your colleagues to a dance off, all it will hurt is your pride. Just do not drink and drive. It will make life better.


 


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