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A drink for the road

Section overview

Young people are starting to experiment with alcohol and other drugs and attend parties at around the same time they are obtaining learner driver licences. In this section, students will investigate the influence of alcohol on driving ability. They are encouraged to look at alternatives to drink driving and strategies to control their own level of drinking.

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Teacher information

Despite the fact that drinking is socially acceptable in our society, drink driving is becoming more socially unacceptable than it was years ago. However, alcohol still contributes to a substantial proportion of the more severe road crashes. Blood alcohol concentration is a measure of the grams of alcohol per 100mL of blood. Drivers holding a learner or provisional driver licence must have a zero blood alcohol concentration. Open driver licence holders must also have a blood alcohol concentration below 0.05.

As a person's blood alcohol concentration rises, their behaviour and response to traffic situations becomes more unpredictable. Reaction times are slower and the ability to make decisions is impaired. The more a person drinks, the greater the influence of alcohol on their emotions. Vision and coordination are also impaired through alcohol use.

Activity 1

Students research and report on the following issues:

  • What is the legal blood alcohol concentration when driving on a learner or provisional driver licence for a person your age? Why do you think it has been set at this level?
  • What are the penalties if you are caught drink driving?

Activity 2

Students brainstorm all the myths and truths that exist about the effect of alcohol on the body, and the ways to reduce the effect of alcohol on the body. They then investigate the effects of alcohol on the body.

Activity 3

Students investigate the legal implications of being caught while driving under the influence of alcohol. They determine what financial costs might be involved, whether or not any jail term or community service would need to be served, the social implications and what effect losing your licence might have on other aspects of your life (for example, travel to a part time job).

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Last updated
08 January 2018