Driven to Drink
In the cradle of civilisation, the lands between the rivers Tigris and Euphrates, known as Mesopotamia, the earliest evidence of “commercial” alcohol production can be found.
From around 5,000 years BC grapevines have been planted with one purpose in mind, the production of wine.
As civilisations formed, or their empires grew, so each made their own mark on the alcohol industry.
By the time the Great Pyramids of Egypt were going up, wine was being made, exported and imported all around the Mediterranean.
Assyrians, Phoenicians, the Greeks and of course the Romans all played their parts. The Roman Empire took wine to its conquests of ”the known world”, and the “known world” didn’t look back.
In Europe, by the Middle Ages, wine, beer and the distillation of fermentation into spirit form, became staples.
Alcoholic consumption through into modern times seems colossal by today’s standards. In Elizabethan times, wine or beer for breakfast would have been the norm, no coffee or tea yet, and in built up areas, precious little clean drinking water, safer to drink alcohol.
Societies have been called to deal with effects of excess drinking, from the gin soaked poor of London in the mid eighteenth century, to the idealistic American prohibition project.
One of the most effective restrictions on attitudes and reaction to alcohol throughout its 10,000 year existence has come in last 100 years, thanks to the motor car.
The freedom afforded by being able to drive a motor vehicle is unsurpassed in history, but some rules have be observed.
Being in charge of probably more than half-a-ton of steerable steel is a responsibility open to virtually anyone, and calls for responsibility in return.
This is where to take another look at alcohol.
Alcohol is a central nervous system depressant, and as such it slows down some of the brain’s functions. It can affect the brain’s speech centre, resulting in slurred sounding speech.
It can depress the brain’s co-ordination centre, giving balance problems and less limb control, and affected vision centre can distort perspective.
Intake is measured in units roughly guided by around half a pint of beer equal to one unit, so one pint would equal two units, giving a ratio of alcohol to blood of 25-50mg, to 100ml of blood. If you have failed a blood test for drink driving and are facing a driving ban, talk to pattersonlaw.co.uk about how they can help you to defend your offence.
So three to four units, approaching two pints, or a large-ish glass of wine will give 50-80mg per 100ml of blood.
The legal limit for driving in the UK is at around 80, so this quantity could be some people’s top limit.