Are the dangers of drink driving getting through?
One in every 15 drivers breathalysed by police over the festive period were found to be over the limit - almost double the number from the year before.
Police Scotland ran their annual Festive Road Safety Campaign from 1st December 2018 to 2nd January 2019 with over 8,000 drivers stopped and breathalysed.
They caught 565 people for drink/drug driving offences, 23 of those were driving the morning after drinking.
In North East Fife, a driver who was over four times the limit, crashed his car and was lucky not to be very seriously injured.
Why is the message not getting through?
As we all know, the drink-driving limit was lowered in 2014 which put an end to those legally having one drink and then driving home. The lower limit makes it impossible to really know whether one drink would tip you over the limit, meaning it is safer not to drink at all if you are driving.
However, people are clearly still taking the risk and getting behind the wheel after one or more drinks. This poses not only a danger to the driver and passengers, but to others on the road.
Alcohol and drugs affect your ability to process information and react to hazards. It also impairs your decision-making meaning you are more likely to take risks on the road like driving too fast.
All of these factors combined means you are far more likely to be involved in a road traffic accident if you are under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
How do you know if you can drive the morning after?
On average, it takes about one hour for your body to break down one unit of alcohol.
So, if you drink a large glass of wine (250ml) for example, it can take about three hours for this to leave your system. For one pint of beer, this can take about two hours.
However, this varies from person to person depending on factors such as gender, weight, your age, how much you have eaten, the type of alcohol you have consumed and any medication you are taking. You can find more information on the NHS website.
It is vital that you give yourself enough time before you drive the next day to make sure you are not over the limit.
Real life consequences of drink driving
From a previous post about drink driving, we received comments on social media from members of the public saying:
“Zero is the only answer imagine living with the thought somebody died because you couldn't say no to a drink.”
“Don't drink if you're going to be driving. That car is a lethal weapon if you’re drunk. Be sensible all year round!!!”
We see first-hand the serious impact that drink driving can have and the harm caused by reckless behaviour.
Our client Mr Conway was injured when he was a passenger in a car accident. The driver was under the influence of alcohol and was speeding along an icy rural road, before losing control and hitting a tree. You can read the full story Passenger injured after speeding driver hits tree.
Drivers need to remember the very real and life changing consequences for driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol. It is not just their safety at risk.