Christmas Drink-Drive Advice

5 Dec 2016

With Christmas festivities getting underway, stay aware of your alcohol consumption and don’t drink and drive. Since 2010, an average of 9000 people have been killed or injured each year in incidents involving at least one drink-driver, and Christmas is a peak time for drink drive offences. Police will be out in greater numbers over the holiday season performing roadside checks, and the penalties can include bans, fines and prison sentences.

How much is it safe to drink?

The rate at which people process alcohol varies depending on several different factors including; gender, body weight, age, when you eat and stress levels. In England the legal alcohol limit is:

35 microgrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres of breath
80 milligrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood
100 milligrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres of urine.

You may well be thinking ‘but what does that mean to me?’ and you’re not alone. A study reveals that almost a third of people polled said they are confused by units of alcohol, while more than half said they rely solely on their own judgement as to whether they are over the drink-drive limit.

Your body takes about an hour to process a unit of alcohol. If you’re at a party or up drinking late, this could mean it is some time the next day before you’re safe to drive. If you want to track your drinking then Drinkaware has a drinks tracker app available here https://www.drinkaware.co.uk/tools/app/

So what can you do to stay safe and on the right side of the law?

Plan ahead – make sure you have a designated driver, or a taxi booked. Know what public transport is available. Book an overnight stay instead of trekking home. Consider if you’ll be fit to drive in the morning and arrange alternative transport for yourself or anyone else you’d be responsible for driving.

If you know you have to drive, don’t drink at all. Mulled wine or festive cocktails can be deceptively alcoholic, and it’s just not worth having a sociable glass and hoping you’ll be safe to get behind the wheel.

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