Don't take a festive drink-drive risk | Advice - Car News Nov 2019

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14:10 Friday 29 Nov 2019

Road safety campaigners are urging drivers to think carefully this Christmas and not be tempted to mix alcohol and driving.

GEM Motoring Assist issued the plea after official figures showed little improvement in the number of road deaths caused by drink-driving.  Department for Transport figures show that incidents involving drink-driving resulted in 250 deaths in 2017, and although this is a drop compared to the 340 fatalities recorded a decade ago in 2009, it is a nine per cent increase on the 230 drink-driving related deaths in 2016.  This is despite Police carrying out 56,000 fewer roadside breath tests in 2017 than the previous year.

The legal limit in England and Wales the limit is 35 micrograms of alcohol in 100ml of breath, and in Scotland the limit 22 micrograms.

GEM Motoring Assist moved to dispel some common misconceptions.  Firstly, almost of fifth of failed breath tests are from people who got behind the wheel the morning after drinking alcohol, so don’t think a good night’s sleep wipes the slate clean.  Nor does drinking coffee, as although it may act as a stimulant and make you feel more alert, it does not reduce the amount of alcohol in your system.  And don’t try calculating how many units of alcohol you’ve had by counting glasses, as one drink does not necessarily mean one unit of alcohol.  Eating a big meal before drinking won’t stop the alcohol entering your system either, that’s another myth.

Even if it is your first offence, if you get caught drink-driving the mandatory minimum sentence is a 12-month ban, along with a hefty fine and a criminal record, so the advice is don’t risk it – if you are drinking over the festive period book a taxi!


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