Promile INFO service informs drivers in particular about residual levels of alcohol in the blood. “We are expecting an increase in the usage of the INFO service, especially because the city traffic police plan to make alcohol breath tests a part of the routine check on the roads in the new year,” says Josef Šedivý from the SANANIM civic association. “Drivers should be aware that alcohol does not disappear from their blood after a couple of hours of sleep, especially not after extensive partying. A responsible approach to the issue should be dictated not only by tighter police regulations, but also by common sense. Use Promile INFO to calculate how much alcohol you can safely drink and be sober by the next morning. If you drive drunk, losing your driver’s license could be the least of your worries,” adds Josef Šedivý.
Do not listen to alco-myths
Most people know that drinking and driving is not an option. In spite of that, many people still believe in “proven recipes” to quickly get rid of a hangover and residual alcohol in your system, as well as other cultural myths. Dr. Jakub Minařík*, a senior doctor with the SANANIM association, discusses some of those myths:
IF I DO NOT FEEL DRUNK, IT IS SAFE FOR ME TO DRIVE
Most people caught driving under the influence of alcohol defend themselves by saying that they do not feel drunk. While they may feel sober, this does not change the fact that they are driving while under the influence. A positive alcohol breath test is often caused by residual alcohol, which people aren’t necessarily aware of after a wild night of partying.
DRINKING REGULARLY INCREASES TOLERANCE TO ALCOHOL
The idea that your alcohol tolerance increases with “training” is false. Your subjective feeling is one thing, but the objective indication of alcohol per mill in blood is another. Your alcohol tolerance can increase with age or frequent consumption, so that you are “more resistant,” but regardless of your tolerance, the amount of alcohol in your blood after drinking remains the same.
I CAN DRIVE SAFELY AFTER HAVING A BEER OR TWO. IT HAS NO INFLUENCE ON ME
(If I avoid high-percentage alcohol, I can drive without problems. A beer is no issue for me.) Alcohol remains alcohol. Since the alcohol in beer is the same as the alcohol in, say, whisky, the beverage you choose does not factor into your blood alcohol level. After consuming an alcoholic beverage, your brain activity drops within a few minutes, which negatively impacts your ability to drive. You start to focus on the process of driving itself, and lose your visual control of what is happening on the street – such as a child crossing the street.
THE BREATH TESTER CAN BE FOOLED
It cannot be fooled. In spite of an increasing number of tricks that (not only Czech) drivers employ to fool breath testers – and some of them sound reasonable at first – a good tester cannot be fooled. Not by a mint under your tongue, licking alkaline batteries, or a lengthy exhale.
I KNOW HOW TO GET SOBER QUICKLY AND EFFECTIVELY
“All I need to get sober is a cold shower, a cup of coffee and an open window in the car.” Although these methods may refresh you to a certain degree, or reduce your hangover on the day after, they do not affect the level of alcohol in your body. The supposedly miraculous effects of citrus beverages is also a myth – while they do help to reduce alcohol in your system, no one has ever sobered by drinking a container of juice.
SANANIM civic association
Is the largest non-governmental association in the Czech Republic that offers services in the field of prevention and treatment of addictions caused by non-alcoholic drugs. Currently, the association runs ten basic programmes – Field Programmes, Contact Centre, CADAS (specialized ambulance services), Day Station, therapeutic communities (TK) in Karlov and Němčice, After-Treatment Centre with lived-in flats, Drug Addiction Information Centre, Job-Resource and Social Agency, Counselling Centre for Drivers – and various other supportive programmes. Projects are managed and carried out by more than 120 employees and contractors.
Pilsner Urquell, a responsible beer producer
Pilsner Urquell Ltd. also helps in the effort to prevent the negative effects caused by excessive or inappropriate consumption of alcohol, and helps propagate responsible drinking attitudes.
In 2009, Pilsner Urquell launched the webpage www.napivosrozumem.cz, which informs the public about the effects of alcohol on the human body.
Pilsner Urquell is the only beer-brewing company in the Czech Republic that places an appeal on its webpage, as well as on marketing and promotional materials, calling for responsible beer consumption. Pilsner Urquell is also a member of the Initiative of Responsible Breweries.
Pilsner Urquell Ltd. is a member of the global group SABMiller plc, one of the largest beer producers in the world. With a total quantity of 10.7 million hectolitres (235.4 million gallons) sold in 2008 – including licensed production abroad – and exports to over 50 countries world-wide, Pilsner Urquell Ltd. is the leading beer producer in the region and the biggest exporter of Czech beer.
- Services for those who want or need to keep alcohol under control – drivers, bicyclists, or doctors and nurses.
- How it works: with one SMS you will know when you how long it will take for the alcohol content in your blood to return to zero. Based on the data provided in your SMS, through WAP or in the java application on your PC, Promile INFO provides you with an approximate calculation of the current level of alcohol in your blood and an estimate of when you will be sober again.
- The main partner of this service is Pilsner Urquell, the leading beer-brewing company in Central Europe, which also promotes responsible consumption of alcohol beverages.
- In the past six months, over 40,000 people have used this service through the internet or SMS.
- This service is accessible through SMS, WAP and on the internet at www.promile.info
How to use the service via mobile phone?
- In the form of a short questionnaire or a JAVA application, the client submits an SMS containing his or her sex, age and weight, as well as the time when they began drinking, what beverages they consumed and in what amount.
- Within one minute, an answer is provided with information on the current level of alcohol in their blood and an estimate of when it will drop back to zero. The response also contains a warning as to the risks involved with the estimated level of alcohol.
- One “Promile INFO” costs 9 CZK. The revenues help sustain programmes for prevention and treatment of addictions provided by the SANANIM civic association, as well as the development and operation of the service itself.
*Dr. Jakub Minařík is the leading doctor of the SANANIM civic association. He is also a psychiatrist and the managing medical officer of the specialized ambulance service centre CADAS, one of SANANIM’s main programmes. He is a lecturer in the field of drug addiction at the Psychiatric Clinic of the 1st Medical Faculty at the Charles University in Prague.