Big men handle their drink better – or so it is believed.

Do you go drinking with your pals in the evenings before going home to bed then get up and go off for work the next morning, confident that you're sober and fit to be behind the wheel? Could that be because you're a big guy and well, big guys handle alcohol better, right? At least better than the puny ones or women.

In a poll commissioned by Direct Line car insurance, UK, 77% of drivers believe that body size will allow them to beat the morning-after breathalyser. Another 70% believe that gender is also a vital factor in determining whether someone is legally fit to drive.

An experiment by the Transport Research Laboratory proves both believes to be false. In the test, a man weighing 73kg and just under 177cm tall and a woman weighing 60kg and 165cm tall both consumed the same amount of alcohol.

When tested the next morning, the woman was well below the permitted alcohol level while the man was still over the limit.

Simon Henrick of Direct Line said, “Drivers are taking a huge risk if they are relying on rough calculations and unproven theories to see whether they are safe to drive their car the morning after the night before. Our study shows that, despite what people might think, there is no magic equation to work out if you are safe to drive the following morning.

Post-drinking habits that drinkers employed to improve sobriety include having lots of water before going to bed (25%), or eating large quantities of food after a night's drinking (8%) while 6% have a large breakfast and drink lots of coffee before driving.

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