Drink Driving - Don't Take the Risk

It's that time again; when after a hard year of working, people get to let their hair down over Christmas and New Year.  It’s also the time of year when the police start their drink drive awareness campaigns and start a clampdown on motorists.  Through increased awareness of the risks and the consequences of drink driving, most people are sensible enough not to risk driving the same evening they have been drinking.  Unfortunately, with the alcohol flowing freely during the festive period, a lot of people fail to realise they could still be over the legal drink drive limit the following morning.

You may not feel drunk the following morning, and therefore feel alright to drive, but you could still be over the legal alcohol level.  It is advisable to stop drinking before 11.30 pm if you know you will need to drive the following day.  On average it takes one hour for a healthy liver to process one unit of alcohol, meaning just three glasses of wine could take nearly 7 hours to leave the system.  However, this does depend on a number of factors, such as weight, gender, age, and even current stress levels and so it is not always easy to tell whether the alcohol will be out of your blood stream. 

So if you are not sure, it is advisable not to risk driving, as the consequences of a drink driving conviction could be wide reaching.  Possibly resulting in a ban from driving, which may cost you your job, and have dire consequences for your future employability.  Worst case scenario, you could face a jail term of up to six months imprisonment for driving over the alcohol limit.

If you drive at “twice the legal alcohol limit, you are at least 30 times more likely to cause a road crash than a driver who hasn't been drinking” according to the road safety group Think!.  On average, 3,000 people are killed or seriously injured each year in drink drive collisions. 

My advice is particularly relevant to young people, as they are over represented in collision statistics in the West Mercia region.  Figures from the Safer Roads Partnership indicate young drivers are involved in 42% of collisions that have alcohol or drugs as contributory factors.