When can I drive again after 5-10 pints in the pub? Warnings as garda checkpoints clamp down on drinkers

Gardai are carrying out increased lifesaver checkpoints in the run up to Christmas with drink drivers being sought out by officers.

Speaking about drink driving checks in the Christmas period, Deputy Commissioner, Ann Marie McMahon said: “An Garda Síochána will be conducting Mandatory Intoxicant Testing checkpoints around the country, to detect irresponsible drivers who drive under the influence of either alcohol or drugs or a combination of both.

“We will also be targeting other lifesaver offences including speeding, not wearing seat belts and mobile phone use by drivers. Members of An Garda Síochána will also focus on unaccompanied driving by learner drivers.”

But how do you know if you will be over the limit or not? Thanks to’s calculator you can get a fair idea.

We have broken down how soon you can drive after pints today – from lager to stout – and will continue with wine, shorts and more in the coming days.

Gardai mount a random breathalyser checkpoint (stock)

It’s important to note this is simply an estimate, the actual figure could depend on many factors including metabolism, weight and more.

How soon can I drive after….

Five pints of lager?

If a man or woman heads to the pub and drinks five pints of a 4.5% lager it will take 10 hours from finishing the last drink to process the alcohol and be allowed behind the wheel again.

Ten pints of lager?

Up that to 10 pints and it’s no surprise that it will actually take you 20 hours before your body will process the alcohol.

Five pints of stout?

It’s the same deal here for men and women with five pints taking you 10 hours in total to process.

Ten pints of stout?

Just like with lager, this will take around 20 hours to process.


The cider drinkers out there will be under the same rules, basically two hours for every pint.

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