While washing your hands for 15-20 seconds with soap and water is the best way to prevent the transmission of infectious disease through hand to hand contact, in a pinch, alcohol santizers work well. Good news from Australia: you can use sanitizers and drive. From Microbe:
Young health care workers cite many reasons why they don’t use appropriate hand hygiene at work. One concern, particularly among some young health care workers who are required to have a zero serum alcohol level to legally drive automobiles while on a probationary license in Australia and some other countries, is the fear of being breathalyzed on the way home. Now M. Lindsay Grayson of the University of Melbourne, Australia, et al. show that even very intensive use of alcohol-based hand rub solutions–as much as 30 times per hour–does not result in any substantive absorption. “Nevertheless, extremely small ethanol levels were detected six to eight minutes after last use in 2 of 20 subjects,” says Grayson. By comparison, serum isopropanol levels were undetectable in all 19 subjects, and isopropanol is not detectable by the routine breathalyser used by police. “Concerns about being breathalyzed are no longer valid,” concludes Grayson.
(T. L. Brown, S. Gamon, P. Tester, R. Martin, K. Hosking, G. C. Bowkett, D. Gerostamoulos, and M. L. Grayson. 2007. Can alcohol-based hand-rub solutions cause you to lose your driver’s license? Comparative cutaneous absorption of various alcohols. Antimicrob. Agents Chemother. 51:1107-1108.)
I imagine this is also good news for people struggling with alcoholism.