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The Consequences of Drink Driving

The Consequences of Drink Driving
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Despite the many media campaigns highlighting the dangers of drink driving, it appears people are still willing to risk their lives and the lives of others by drinking beyond the legal limits. The festive season is renowned for escalated occurrences of drink-driving and during this season of celebration, it pays to know how you can prevent yourself becoming one of the many drivers found to be over the limit.

Know Your Limits

Some drivers may drink alcohol regardless of the consequences, whereas others are totally unaware of how certain factors can send a driver beyond the legal limit. Age, weight, metabolism, recent food intake and even stress can determine how quickly alcohol is processed through the human body and some people become intoxicated easier than others. Why not just drink no alcohol at all rather than risk it?

What is the Legal Limit?

If you are driving a vehicle in the UK, only 35microgrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres of breath are permitted. Should a blood test be taken, a drinking driver’s levels must not exceed 80 milligrammes in 100 millilitres of blood. Police can also determine alcohol levels with a urine sample and in 100 millilitres of urine, the alcohol level must not exceed milligrammes. Should the police suspect you have been drinking excessively and then driving, they will ask you to breathe into a breathalyser. If you are asked for samples and refuse to permit police officers to test your alcohol levels, you can face prosecution on three separate counts: failure to cooperate with a preliminary test; failing to provide an evidential specimen for analysis and failing to give permission for a laboratory test.

The Dangers of One for the Road

Even the smallest amount of alcohol can affect your driving abilities, so when driving it is always sensible to consider abstaining from alcohol completely. Minimal amounts of alcohol can diminish processing skills, reactions, and can also lead to drivers making decisions they would not had they not been drinking. It is not surprising therefore, that alcohol consumption leads to so many road accidents and fatalities for drivers and other road users, especially over the Christmas period.

Legal Consequences of Drink DrivingThe Consequences of Drink Driving

Drivers that are found to be above the legal alcohol limit can face fines, a driving ban and ultimately, imprisonment. Punishments may include six months in prison with a £5000 fine and a 12 month driving ban. The knock-on effects of prosecution are dramatic, with “high-risk” offenders requiring a medical assessment before their license is returned and guilty parties can expect a rise in car insurance. Convicted drink drivers can also find it extremely difficult to be granted permission to enter the USA.

Solutions for the Festive Season

Before picking up the car keys, consider the many alternatives including using public transport, leaving the car at your destination, or getting a lift with a non-drinking friend. Plan ahead and agree a designated non-drinking driver for nights out in groups. If you have driven to your destination and are not completely confident you are within the legal limit, do not be tempted to “chance” it – get a taxi home!

If you have ever even considered drinking then driving, just speak to a family that have lost a loved one as a consequence of drink driving; a mother who’s children were killed by a drunk driver, a husband that has just buried his wife because of a drink driver or children growing up without a parent because of a drink driver. Drink driving kills, so ensure you and your family have a very safe and happy Christmas by taking no chances with regards to drinking and driving.

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