With the run-up to Christmas Andrew Holland, specialist motoring defence solicitor gives a stark warning to all drivers:
“Motorists who risk driving when over the legal drink drive limit dramatically increase their chances of being involved in a fatal crash .With the festive season approaching the temptation to get behind the wheel after having a drink may be a risk some drivers think is worth taking.”
It is estimated that in 2010, 9,700 reported casualties (5% of all road casualties) occurred when someone was driving whilst over the legal limit. Women are much less likely to be involved in a drink drive accident, as drivers, than men.
“Alcohol affects everybody in a different way and can remain in your system for longer than you think. Even the smallest amount of alcohol will affect your competence behind the wheel, your ability to judge speed and distance and will slow down your reactions. At the risk of losing your licence, your livelihood, or killing someone else or yourself on the road
The message this Christmas is if you want to join in the festive spirit and enjoy a drink then take note of the following:
1. If there’s a chance you may drink alcohol, always leave your vehicle at home
If you are going out for a drink, always leave your vehicle at home. Remember it only takes one or two drinks to push you over the limit. While this tip may seem obvious, many people tend to ignore it for the temporary convenience of making a quicker outward journey. After a few drinks, however, the prospect of travelling home via public transport or waiting for a taxi may not seem so appealing and that’s when people get into problems.
2. Appoint a designated driver
Going out with friends provides another good way to avoid drink driving by appointing a “designated driver” for the group.
3. Do not consume alcohol
The drink drive limit is currently 35 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath. Therefore if you drive after drinking only a minimal amount of alcohol you are taking a huge risk. The easy and simplest way of avoiding being over the limit is to abstain from drinking alcohol.
4. Do not rely on “sobering- up” tricks
“Sobering – up” tricks do not work. Drinking lots of coffee and getting some fresh air have absolutely NO impact on the level of alcohol in your system. Time is the only way to get alcohol out of your system and you could be still over the limit many hours after you finish drinking.
5. Watch the clock
Alcohol remains in your system for a longer period than you possibly imagine. So remember, if you drink heavily the night before you could still be over the limit the following morning, even if you feel relatively sober. If in doubt about your sobriety, don’t risk it .
6. Do not drink on an empty stomach
The amount of food in your stomach will increase the rate of absorption and decrease the amount of time you need to avoid driving and drinking.
Whatever you do, think about what you are doing! Always remember the risks and penalties for drink driving – not only to your own position and livelihood but also of other road users. You could face a substantial prison sentence, an unlimited fine and a lengthy driving disqualification.
For more information please visit www.defendingthemotorist.com or call 0800 0778770