Driving Home for Christmas

December 9, 2015 11:59 am

You don’t have to drink to have a good time! Have a glass of your favourite soft drink and let the good times roll. Soft drinks are generally a cheaper alternative tCranberryChristmaso alcohol and the best thing is 1) you don’t wake up with a sore head and 2) you can save money on taxi fares home because you are 100% legal to drive.

It is easy to get caught up in the moment when you’re out with friends, laughing and drinking, but if you are driving, the safest option is to steer away from alcohol and stick to drinks that won’t affect your ability to drive. There have be
en many occasions when people have stated ‘I feel fine’ before getting behind the wheel and have later been caught over the legal limit.

Alcohol has an exaggerated effect on your cognitive perception and the laws surrounding drink driving do not take in to consideration how you think you may feel.  In other words; Alcohol may cause you to feel invincible because it increases confidence,

helicopterso although you may think you are capable of flying yourself home in a helicopter, the reality is you are barely capable of walking in a straight line.

General advice when it comes to drink driving is simply – DON’T DO IT! It is good to get in to the habit of leaving your car at home and finding another means of transport. Five main effects of alcohol on driving include; slower co-ordination, slower reactions, affected vision, poor judgement of speed and feeling drowsy, so if you feel any of these effects then please put your keys back in your pocket and take a slow stroll home and keep to the path.

People’s tolerance to 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’re probably sat there scratching your head thinking ‘that means absolutely nothing to me’ and you’re not alone, however there aren’t any guidelines on exactly how many drinks you can consume before you are in the danger zone, so why take the risk? A study reveals that ‘almost a third of Brits polled (32 per cent) said they are confused by units of alcohol, while more than half (57 per cent) said they rely solely on their own judgement as to whether they are over the drink-drive limit.’ If you want to track your drinking then Change4Life has a great online drinks tracker.

car keys

As a rough guide the law outlines that for every 1 unit it takes an hour for the alcohol to leave your blood. This means that if you go out drinking all night then it probably won’t be until late the next day that you are completely sober. Bare this in mind especially during the festive period, as when you may feel the urge to drive the next day because ‘it’s only down the road’ or because you ‘feel fine’, it could be likely that you are legally above the driving limit and this is an arrestable offence.

It may seem like an inevitable fact but drink driving is not only dangerous for the driver but also other road users and vehicle passengers. Why put lives at risk? Nearly one in six of all deaths on the road involve drivers who are over the legal alcohol limit. Some countries have a zero tolerance policy whereby drinking and driving is forbidden. What are your thoughts on this? Since the legal limit in Scotland has been reduced from 80mg to 50mg in every 100ml of blood, people’s attitude towards drink driving has changed and statistics show that drink driving offences have dropped from 4,208 to 3,682. Maybe stricter laws are the answer?

So, the next time you’re thinking of driving home after a couple of drinks … ‘step away from the car!’



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