It’s that time of the year again. As the past 12 months draw to a close, thousands of us will be out celebrating the end of 2013 and heralding in the start of 2014. It’s a time to let our hair down, be with friends and family… and most likely, have a fair few drinks!
There’s nothing wrong with any of that of course. In these austere times, any excuse to celebrate is welcome. But unfortunately it can lead to problems – notably, those who choose to have a few alcoholic drinks and then get behind the wheel of a car.
Now more than ever, drink driving is arguably one of the most socially unacceptable things that someone can do. I’m sure most readers of this will have seen images or news reports of road traffic collisions that have been caused by a drink driver. More often than not, serious injury is caused to themselves or worse, others; and of course, in the worst cases, lives are lost.
Thankfully, due to its ever increasing status as something that is intolerable to most members of society people will either plan ahead and book a taxi, or have a member of their party that isn’t drinking that will drive everyone else home. But there are of course those few that will decide that they’re OK to drive. The few that will say “I’m definitely under the limit”. And those few that do get into the driving seat and attempt their journey home.
But what is the safe and legal drink drive limit? That’s two different questions in one. The legal drink drive limit is of course 35 micrograms of alcohol in a 100 millilitres specimen of breath, or 80 micrograms in a 100 millilitre specimen of blood. How many units of alcohol is this? How many glasses of wine? How many pints of beer? The most truthful answer to this is… nobody knows!
Suffolk Constabulary offer some wise words and facts about drink driving on their website – wise words from those who have to deal with the consequences of it on an all-too-regular basis.
Alcohol affects every single person in different ways. Some may feel intoxicated after one drink, some may not feel any effect after several. So deciding if you’re safe to drive after that one drink… isn’t as clear cut as you may think!
We’ve recently been speaking to a lot of our clients and customers on their views on drink driving. It’s not surprising that most of the people we spoke to held the opinion that the safest bet was not to drink at all and get a taxi. But it even shocked us to find that a few people owned up to having driven whilst under the influence in the past.
This is of course traditionally the time of year as well, where the local police forces and government will publicise their drink driving campaigns, most notably with videos and footage designed to shock the viewer. It’s amazing that even given this, they are still catching and bringing to account drink drivers as a regular occurrence.
So this just leaves us with the question – how will you be getting home over this new year period?
Stay safe on the roads and if in doubt – don’t drink before driving. Or if you choose to drink – let a taxi take you home. The cost is far cheaper in the long run.