Make This Christmas A Happy One. Don’t Drink And Drive



Every year thousands are put at risk by drink drivers in the UK, with the festive period being one of the most renowned few weeks in the calendar. In 2012, 290 people were killed on the roads, up 26% on 2011, with over 6,680 accidents linked to alcohol consumption.
Once again police across the region will be working tirelessly to make sure Britain’s roads are kept safe this Christmas. Last year authorities in Cheshire breathalysed 3,273 people in a bid to crackdown on offenders and will once again be targeting drivers they believe could be above the limit.
The legal limit in the UK is 35 milligrams per 100 millilitres of breath, but there’s no fool-proof way of ensuring you’re under the limit. Alcohol affects each person differently and depends on a number of factors how quickly your body processes drink. Weight, gender, metabolism, stress and age can all contribute to how long alcohol stays in your system, with young men being particularly vulnerable.
According to research by drink-driving-limit.co.uk there were 1,350 people aged between 16 and 24 in 2010 that were injured in drink driving cases, whilst over 10,500 men were arrested for being over the limit the following year.
Although it’s often the morning after when people are likely to be caught over the limit. Police figures show that in 2011 more people failed breath tests between the hours of 6am and 11am than during the hour before and after midnight. Which is not surprising considering over half the population are unaware of when they will be fit to drive again following an evening consuming alcohol.
It’s a common mistake by drivers, but staying safe is imperative not just for you, but also the lives of others. As little as 2 units of alcohol can affect your reaction time by 0.2 seconds, as well as your judgement, concentration and vision. And despite feeling ok, it takes longer than you think for effects of alcohol to wear off.
Even a night with as little as five bottles of lager will leave you unable to drive for at least 11 hours, whilst enjoy a bottle of wine at 11pm and you’ll be unable to get into the driver’s seat until 1pm the following day.
The number of accidents have decreased considerably over the last few years. In 2012 the accident numbers were half those just 10 years ago, but that’s still too many, especially as the risks could seriously damage your livelihood.
Being in charge of a vehicle over the limit can carry a prison sentence of at least 3 months, on top of potentially a considerable ban and minimum £2,500 fine. But the consequences can stretch much further.
Having a drink driver’s record will follow you for the rest of your life. It will affect car insurance policies, and could have a huge impact on both your social and professional life.
Up to one million people in the UK risk losing their jobs should they drink drive this Christmas, particularly those in teaching, finance, and health and social care. Statistics show employers are less likely to take an application into consideration should a person have a criminal record, whilst 28% of people who already have convictions worry about their record when applying for jobs.
Roger Singer, Head of Drink Driver Education said, “Everyone I meet has been given at least a 12-month driving ban. For many this meant instant dismissal from their jobs, for some it meant resigning because they couldn’t get to work. Many haven’t applied for future roles they want because of the conviction and have got stuck in careers they hate.”

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