Be Drink Aware This Festive Season
Drink driving can result in serious consequences. If you’re drinking, don’t drive! If you’re driving, don’t drink!
This time of year is filled with fun and celebration. The parties and presents can really start to add up, so you may be tempted to drive home and skip the added expense of getting a taxi.
Do you think you’re okay to drive home after just one or two drinks? If so, think again. You might feel sober, but even one or two units of alcohol slows down your reaction times and impairs your ability to drive safely. In addition to the serious penalties you could face if caught, you’re putting yourself, your passengers, and other road users in danger.
The morning after the night before
It’s incredibly difficult to translate the legal limits into actual number of drinks. If you want to drive the same evening as your party, your best bet is to stick to soft drinks.
However, it’s important to be aware of the limits, as well as how many units your tipple of choice contains. This can help you moderate your drinking and is helpful if you need to get around the next day! One in five motorists admits to driving the morning after a night of drinking. Did you know that it’s pretty easy to still be over the limit when you head out the next morning?
Remember that it takes your body approximately one hour to break down one unit of alcohol – but this is just a guideline. The actual time can vary significantly from one person to another. If you’re driving on the night of the party, do not rely on this to let you know when you can get behind the wheel. The safest approach is to not drink if you’re planning on driving. However, this can be a useful tool if you’re thinking about driving the next day.
If you’re relying on driving to get around this Christmas, don’t risk drinking and driving – it’s not worth it. Treat yourself to a few chocolates instead!
What’s the penalty for drink driving?
The punishment for driving whilst under the influence is severe.
Drunk drivers will be banned from driving for a minimum of 12 months. If you are convicted twice in 10 years, the minimum ban goes up to three years!
You can also face a prison sentence of up to 10 months and have to pay an unlimited fine.
Are there insurance implications for drink driving?
Most insurers will have a “drink and drugs clause” in your policy. It states that your cover will be invalid if you are found to be driving under the influence of drink or drugs.
This means if you have an accident while drink driving, you won’t receive a payout from your insurer. You could find yourself seriously out of pocket!
In addition, if you receive a drink driving conviction, some insurers will refuse to offer you cover. You’re also likely to see a huge price increase from those who do.
So what are your options?
Make sure you plan your transport in advance of any social occasions. Booking a taxi for the end of the night is a great way to ensure you won’t need to wait in the cold or rain (or snow!) trying to flag one down.
There’s often one person who doesn’t mind being a designated driver. These unsung heroes of the festive season can save everyone time and money, by driving you home. If the sober friend doesn’t have a car, they can lend one with Car Sharing Insurance. It’s a great way to share the driving on festive weekends away, as well as designated driver responsibilities! You could even insure a family member on your car so they can come and pick you up!
Alternatively, if you have to travel far, it’s often worth booking a hotel room for the night. You can sleepily make your way home on public transport the next morning, or if you’re okay to drive, you can head on home in your own time (after a fry up!).
Whatever your plans over Christmas and New Year, remember to have fun and stay safe!