Christmas is almost upon us and office parties, festive markets, nights out with friends and family gatherings are quickly filling up our social calendars. It is a whole whirlwind of festive cheer and everyday normality is forgotten for the one month whilst the whole world prepares for the holidays.
Unfortunately, it’s also that time of year where the number of drink and drug drive arrests almost doubles compared to any other time of the year. Every Christmas both the government and each police force across the country publicise their annual drink drive campaign in a bid to reduce the number of arrests, accidents and casualties that occur as a result of drink and drug driving at Christmas.
The campaigns are aimed at everyone who drives, not just young people, not just criminals, not just boy racers, but everyone, because as per the West Yorkshire Police campaign for Christmas 2016, these particular types of serious criminal offences aren’t always committed by the ‘usual suspects’. And when it comes to being sentenced at court, the same sentences apply to everyone no matter your age, sex, job title, or what position you may have within the community.
‘For the majority of drivers, being accused of a motoring offence can a be a daunting experience, if you find yourself on the wrong side of the law Paul Crowley & Co are here to help, please call 0151 668 0955’
Lyndsay Clark | Solicitor
Paul Crowley & Co.
If you fall foul of the law as a result of drink or drug driving you will most definitely be disqualified from driving for a minimum of 12 months and depending on the reading you provide to the police you could also face either a hefty fine, a community order and in some rare cases a custodial sentence.
Drinking AND driving
The current UK drink driving limit is 80mg of alcohol for every 100ml of blood. The 80mg limit allows a man of average height and weight to drink as many as four units of alcohol, or two units of average strength beer and still remain within the law. However, there really is no effective way to estimate the level of alcohol in your blood by counting the units of alcohol you drink, as alcohol is absorbed at different rates depending on factors including height, weight, tiredness, stress levels and how much and how recently you have eaten. So if you’ve drank only a small amount of alcohol but also had very little to eat that day, you could well find yourself over the legal limit.
The morning after the night before
Although there is no real way of measuring the level of alcohol in your blood, as a guide, you can work out the time it takes to sober up by counting units consumed and starting from one hour after finishing drinking, adding an hour for each unit. This means that if you drink four pints of 4.5% lager, at 2.6 units each, and finish drinking at approximately 11pm, you should avoid driving until at least 10.15am the next morning. Quite a startling fact when the majority of us probably finish drinking slightly later than 11pm and drink more than the equivalent of 4 pints on our Christmas nights out.
Drink Drug Drive Campaign 2017
Every year each police force release their very own Drink Drug Drive Campaign with the aim of reducing the number of deaths and serious injuries and to highlight the dangers around driving while over the limit or impaired through drugs. The campaigns are often hard hitting and designed to show the devastating consequences drink and drug driving can have, as can be seen from the examples below.
Derbyshire Police 2012 Campaign
West Yorkshire Police Campaign 2016
Police forces across the North West released their month long campaigns on 1st December 2017 to encourage people to think of alternative forms of transport after drinking or taking substances. Merseyside Police released their ‘What’s the Cost’ initiative, Lancashire Police released ‘Which Direction Will You Take?’ and Cheshire Police released the ‘All We Want For Christmas’ campaign, the videos of which can be found on Facebook and Twitter.
Don’t chance it – if you’re driving
During the month of December forces step up patrols and Merseyside police have confirmed they will be paying particular attention to areas across Merseyside in the evenings and early in the morning. Inspector Keith Kellett of Matrix Roads Policing states on the Merseyside Police force website that “Think for a minute about the effects a drink or drug driving conviction will have on you and your family, the shame and ruin that it can bring. Do not think that you won’t get caught. Our officers will be conducting roadside tests morning, afternoon and evening and we arrest countless drivers every month throughout the year. Don’t chance it – if you’re driving, it’s better to have no alcohol and always think to yourself ‘what’s the cost?’.”
WHAT TO DO NEXT…
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