And we’re off! It’s time for the Christmas parties to be in full swing, and the police are rubbing their hands with glee at the amount of drink drivers who will be getting charged over the Christmas break. And let’s face it, it’s one driving crime that is 100% a fair cop. You drink and drive and lose your license, you’ve only got yourself to blame and we have no sympathy for you, I’m afraid.
But, now that we’re done with the telling’s off, let’s take a look at the myths and legends of drink driving, and the realities of what happens if you’re actually to get caught.
You could be fined up to £2,500 and lose your license. You could even be facing up to three months in jail. That’s the brutal reality. A 12-month driving ban is mandatory in drink-driving cases. There’s no getting out of it, even if it is your first offence. Not only that, but you’ll have a criminal record which will stay with you and affect everything from your career to your insurance premiums. There’s no equivalent of a speed awareness course that will get you out of the consequences. Your criminal record will also see you on the ‘no fly’ list for countries such as the USA, so forget about that trip with the kids to Disney Land.
Cause an accident and kill someone as a result of drink driving, and you could go to jail for up to 14 years. Not to mention having your face and your family details splashed all over the newspapers. Consider what that would be like for them if you were to get caught. It’s all well and good to think it won’t happen to you, but that’s what everyone who gets caught thinks.
While more recently the fewer number of police on the streets has meant that the number of people being breathalysed has decreased, the more recent increase in numbers of police is seeing that beginning to change.
There is no safe way to calculate how much is your own limit. This is due to our own metabolisms and we are all different. So, while the 80mg/100ml blood may equal a glass of wine for one person, for another it may be far too much to put you over the limit.
Making arrangements to get home is always a smart move. Don’t take the chance. Yes, a taxi or public transport is expensive or inconvenient, but take a moment to think about how expensive being fined is, or how inconvenient having your license taken away would be. Or, plan for a designated driver. Don’t go out for a night in your car, just figuring that things will sort themselves out. If everybody ends up drinking and you’re there with your car, you could find yourself tempted to drive, rather than wait or cough up for a taxi.
Drinking coffee does not sober you up. Eating food may help slow down how intoxicated you feel, but it does not ‘soak up’ the alcohol and render it declassified.
Did you know, up to 20% of failed Breathalyzer tests happen the morning after the night before? You can still be over the limit the next day. Don’t just think a good night’s sleep will see you right from a night on the pop – our body takes time to metabolize alcohol. How we spend that time is largely irrelevant.
So, if you are planning on a few parties over the next few weeks (and why wouldn’t you?), just think smart before stepping in to your car.