George Michael, David Hasselhoff, Lindsay Lohan, Mel Gibson, Amy Winehouse and even our very own legendary singer PJ Powers – all high-profile stars, all thrust into the public eye by their battles with booze. But don’t let the veneer of glamour fool you – living it up like a celebrity might sound like fun, but there are serious consequences to abusing alcohol, especially when it comes to performing at work, building your career, being a good parent and driving responsibly.
One only has to look at the Internet and celebrity magazines to read countless cautionary tales of great stars fighting their personal battles with alcohol. The newspaper headlines tell us about musicians, sportsmen, radio and TV stars – our role models, getting caught out at road blocks for drinking and driving but the stories only provide a tiny glimpse into a global battle against alcohol abuse.
According to a study by the Medical Research Council Led by Dr Charles Parry conducted in conjunction with the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) and the University of Cape Town (UCT), South Africans consume over five billion litres of alcohol a year – and not all of it over the weekend. Drinking is not only an after-hours activity but a practice that is taking place each and every day of the week. The phenomenon of motorists drinking and driving kills thousands of people on our roads each year and costs our economy billions of Rands!
The statistics speak for themselves:
- Six out of ten drivers that die in road accidents had dangerously high blood alcohol levels.
- It is estimated that between 57% and 60% of drivers killed in South Africa every year lose their lives directly or indirectly relating to alcohol.
- When you’re driving at night, one out of every seven drivers sharing the road with you is drunk.
- Just one drink doubles your chances of causing an accident.
- It is estimated that alcohol abuse costs South African companies R20 billion in lost productivity each year.
Angus MacArthur of Alcohol Breathalysers CC, supporting the initiatives of Arrive Alive, says the battle against booze can be won with the help of private business and celebrities. Businesses can enforce zero tolerance of alcohol in the workplace. Restaurant and pub owners can put in place measures to ensure that their patrons do not drive their vehicles when over the legal limit.
To set a good example our celebrities and stars can lead the way and ensure that when they drive home late at night after glitzy events where more alcohol is served than entertainment that they are safe to drive. They can easily check that they are below the legal alcohol limit of 0.05% BAC by using their own breathalyser and take a taxi home if they need to. Knowing your status before you get behind the wheel of your car could mean that you don’t end up all over the front pages of the morning papers let alone all over the road.
There are a number of key benefits of testing your own alcohol level:
- Improve safety. The risk of being involved in an alcohol-related accident is significantly reduced when you are aware of the level of alcohol present in your body.
- Maintain your career and reputation. Alcohol users at work are said to be as much as 33% less productive often due to tardiness and illness. A happy, healthy and sober employee is a far better ambassador for a company during and after office hours.
- Increase your productivity and performance. High alcohol consumption impairs the body’s natural ability to perform optimally and thus by checking that you are not under the influence of alcohol before entering your workplace will mean higher productivity and better performance.
- Save your money. Both in the costs of dealing with an alcohol-related accident as well as the money you’ll save on bail, bribes and especially legal costs when you get charged with drunk driving and decide to take the state to the High Court.
Knowing your own alcohol limit can save you your life, your family’s life, your reputation, your job – be there for your friends and family – take a stand against drunk driving!
The message is clear – Don’t be a statistic! Beat the battle with booze!
About Alcohol Breathalysers CC:
Alcohol Breathalysers CC is a home grown South African business that supplies affordable reusable breathalysers in Southern Africa supplying to individual consumers, business and industry in South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Lesotho, Swaziland, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Zambia, Angola and the Democratic Republic of Congo.