How Many Drinks before Driving?

Updated: May 11





BY FAR THE MOST searched query relative to drink driving on Google.


Our partners at Vudini use technology that tells them how often an expression (keyword) has been searched on Google. The more often a keyword is searched, the more important it is to focus on it, because that’s what people are searching online.


Vudini have told us that that expression (“how many drinks before driving?”) has been searched 541,000,000 times on Google worldwide.


Yes, you read that right: five hundred and forty-one million times.



The second most searched query is similar: “How long after drinking can I drive?”. That keyword has been searched 524,000,000 times.


Again you read that right.


It tells you something. It tells you that people like certainty. We all do. We like to know what we’re having for dinner, what we’re doing next week, when we’re going on holidays. We like that because it allows us to plan our lives.


the expression (“how many drinks before driving?”) has been
searched 541,000,000 times on Google worldwide.
Yes, you read that right: five hundred and forty-one million times.

UNCERTAINTY IS OUR ENEMY. We dislike it because we can’t plan, don’t know what’s ahead of us, what’s going to happen. Dislike isn’t quite the word: hate. Hate is the word. We hate not knowing. It gnaws at us, at our subconscious, sitting at the back of our head like some mental vulture until we find the answer. And as soon as we do it disappears, like it was never a problem.


Not knowing causes significant stress and anxiety. So to avoid anxiety we seek certainty. That’s increasingly leading people to go online and simply asking Google. Hence the search for questions like these.


People want Google to tell them how much they can drink before driving, or how soon after drinking they can drive, whichever way you want to look at it.


But Google can’t give certainty to questions like these. Nobody can. About the only thing the analysts at the Medical Bureau of Road Safety can say with some certainty is the scientific level of alcohol/drugs in your blood or urine.

They can tell you this but they cannot tell you what you want to know: how many units of alcohol you can consume before driving.


They can’t tell you that because of one very important factor: the concentration of alcohol in a person’s breath, blood or urine differs from one person to the next. Multiple factors are involved.


These factors include your sex, age, weight, whether you’ve slept well, whether you’ve eaten regularly, whether you’re suffering from some illness, your level of fitness, etc.


Every one of these individual factors impacts the ability and speed of your body’s attempt to process and expel alcohol.









TWO FRIENDS MAY DRINK the exact same quantity of the exact same drink over the exact same period of time but one may have a significantly higher blood/alcohol reading because they’re sick, weigh less, are tired, have eaten sparingly etc, etc.


Davidowitz, a former Google data scientist explains that
People will admit more if they are alone than if others are in the room with them.”

But one thing is certain: we’re increasingly turning to Google for answers.


Google is fast becoming the general public’s confidante. In his New York Times bestselling book Everybody Lies: What the Internet Can Tell Us About Who We Really Are, Seth Stephens- Davidowitz, tells us why.


Davidowitz, a former Google data scientist explains that People will admit more if they are alone than if others are in the room with them.”


We don’t want to ask our friends about a whole host of different issues, so we turn to Google instead for help.


But this is one question the world’s most powerful confidante can’t answer.


At least not yet anyway.



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