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People stunned by amount of pints 1960s pubgoers would drink before driving home

Emily Brown

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People stunned by amount of pints 1960s pubgoers would drink before driving home

Featured Image Credit: BBC

Social media users have been left stunned after learning how much pubgoers would drink in the 1960s before driving home.

In 1967, a landmark Road Safety Act made it illegal for drivers in the UK to get behind the wheel with a blood alcohol concentration of more than 80mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood.

The limit remains in place to this day, and although factors such as weight, sex and metabolism can impact how people process alcohol, just two pints of lager or two glasses of wine could be enough to put you over the drink-driving limit.

It's generally best to stick to just one alcoholic drink – or none at all – if you plan on getting behind the wheel afterwards, but footage filmed in the 1960s shows pubgoers used to far exceed that recommendation.

The video appears to have been filmed after then-transport minister Barbara Castle announced proposals for increased road safety. Prior to the limit being set at 80mg per 100cc of blood, one proposal for a limit put as high as a 1.5 percent blood-alcohol level, which could allow drivers to drink as many as eight pints before driving.

Pubgoers were drinking far more than the amount recommended now. Credit: Pixabay
Pubgoers were drinking far more than the amount recommended now. Credit: Pixabay

In the clip, an interviewer can be heard speaking with pubgoers about their plans to drive home and asking them to take breathalyser tests.

One patron described the introduction of breathalyser tests as 'fairly diabolical', arguing it didn't take into account how drunk a pedestrian involved in an accident might be, saying: "He could cause an accident, but he doesn't get tested. It's the driver who gets tested, and I think that's unfair."

The same customer expressed belief he'd be fine to drink and drive even if he had more than eight drinks, claiming he would 'drive no differently', while another expressed his plans to drive home after consuming three pints, enough to put him over the incoming legal limit.

A third interviewee, who was behind the wheel after having had four pints, said he'd be willing to take his intake down to three and insisted he would 'still be able to enjoy [his] evening'.

The current legal drink-driving limit is 80mg per 100cc of blood. Credit: PA Images/Alamy Stock Photo
The current legal drink-driving limit is 80mg per 100cc of blood. Credit: PA Images/Alamy Stock Photo

Though most of the pubgoers didn't seem too enamoured with the introduction of the law, it's worth noting that it has been an offence since 1925 to be found drunk while in charge of any mechanically propelled vehicle on any highway or other public place.

With the strict alcohol limit laws in place today, TikTok users watching the old interviews were left shocked by the amount drivers felt they could drink.

Many were in disbelief over the man believing he could have 'one over the eight', with one writing: "1 over the 8!!! I feel like a lightweight," while another commented: "Wow shows how over time attitudes have changed."

Topics: Food And Drink, TikTok, Viral

Emily Brown
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