38 27TH ANNUAL CRIME PREVENTION GUIDE MYTH: HYPOVENTILATION (HOLDING YOUR BREATH) OR HYPERVENTILATION (BREATHING REALLY HARD) AFFECTS THE READINGS. FACT: The only factor that will lower your reading on the Intoxilyzer, is giving your body time to burn off the alcohol. Hypoventilation and hyperventilation only make you dizzy and appear drunk. MYTH: IT IS BETTER TO REFUSE TO GIVE A BREATH SAMPLE. FACT: Refusing to provide a sample either at the roadside or at the station is a separate and additional offence. You may be charged with the refusal in addition to impaired driving in Canada and end up with another separate charge that you have to fight and possible additional penalties. MYTH: I MUST BE OKAY TO DRIVE WHEN I WAKE UP IN THE MORNING AND DO NOT FEEL DRUNK. FACT: Alcohol stays in your system regardless of whether you sleep or remain awake. While the time you were sleeping does affect how much your body burns off, and you may wake up in the morning not feeling impaired, you may still have a BAC that is over 80. Remember that it takes about two hours to burn off each drink, so a person who has 10 standard sized drinks, normally needs about 20 hours to get back to a zero BAC. MYTH: IF I ONLY HAVE ONE DRINK AN HOUR I WILL BE OKAY. FACT: The average 150lb male only burns off one standard drink about every two hours. MYTH: COFFEE, A COLD SHOWER, A LARGE MEAL OR OTHER HOME REMEDIES WILL HELP. FACT: Only time will allow your body to burn off the alcohol. MYTH: BEING CHARGED WITH “OVER 80” AND “IMPAIRED” IS THE SAME THING. FACT: These are two separate charges under the Criminal Code. While you cannot be convicted of both arising out of the same incident, they are different. “Over 80” is the amount of alcohol in your blood while “impaired” deals with the effects of alcohol on you. A good way to think of it is that an experienced drinker may have a number of drinks and end up with a blood alcohol content that exceeds 80mg of alcohol in 100ml of blood, but his or her behaviour is not changed and thus is not impaired. The flip side would be a “rookie drinker” who has two drinks. This person’s blood alcohol content would not exceed 80mg but the alcohol hits him or her hard; he or she begins to have problems with coordination and his or her ability to operate a motor vehicle may be impaired. MYTH: ALL PEOPLE REACT THE SAME WAY TO ALCOHOL. FACT: As illustrated above, different people are affected differently by alcohol. Factors such as drinking experience and age affect how alcohol impacts their abilities in impaired cases while factors such as weight and gender affect the quantities of alcohol in a person’s blood in over 80 cases. TOP MYTHS ABOUT IMPAIRED DRIVING IN CANADA