The festive season has arrived - so it's time to let your hair down and enjoy lots of food and drink. But, have you thought ahead? You've probably organised a taxi to pick you up from the office party but have you thought about the following morning?
Each year the government does a brilliant job of making us aware of the dangers around drink driving. We all know the way to keep ourselves and others safe is not to drink anything at all. But many of us will wake up the following morning after a late night and not even think about the Drink Drive Limit.
The Department for Transport has found that one-in-five accidents happen 'the morning after'. The majority of the time the driver does not know that they are over the limit. A headache, fuzzy memory and dizziness are all indicators you are still over the limit. It is still possible to have too much alcohol in your system even if you feel fine. Remember, sleep does not remove alcohol from your system.
The police have the power and the right to pull you over and take a breath test. They can do this if they suspect you have been drinking, committed a traffic offence or if you've been involved in a traffic accident. The number of breath tests carried out varies from region to region but this year the Home Office has published figures which indicates 12 breath tests are carried out across the country per 1,000 people. Whilst this may not sound a lot, remember it is an average and the government are aware that around the festive season people will take more risks on the road.
It is important to have an idea of what and how much you are drinking. The legal alcohol limit for drivers in England and Wales is 80 milligrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood, 35 microgrammes per 100 millilitres of breath or 107 milligrammes per 100 millilitres of urine - confused? Most people are. There is no set amount of pints or glasses of wine you can have before driving. There is no set time for how long it will take for the alcohol to leave your body.
There are two ways you can check and ensure you are safe to drive:
Don't drink the night before - the only way you can be 100% sure you are safe to drive is not to drink anything before getting behind the wheel
Invest in a personal breathalyser kit - the technology is now in your hands and you can perform a breath test on yourself. The top spec kits offer a good level of accuracy and will help you on making an informed decision on whether you are safe to drive or not
So enjoy your Christmas but do keep yourself and others safe on the road. Being convicted of driving under the influence can have devastating consequences for you and others around you!