How To Be A Safe Driver This Christmas Party Season
December 01, 2018 at 10:08 AM
KNOW YOUR LIMITS THIS CHRISTMAS
The Christmas party season is upon us and for many it's a chance to cut loose and blow off some steam with a good drinking session (on the company card if you're lucky).
However, it's important to remember that random police checks are carried out more frequently at this time of year in an attempt to keep road users as safe as possible and deter people from taking the risk of drink driving.
WHAT IS THE LEGAL DRINK DRIVE LIMIT?
In England and Wales, the alcohol limit for drivers is:
- 35 microgrammes per 100 milliletres of breath
- 80 milligrammes per 100 millilitres of blood
- 107 milligrammes per 100 millilitres of urine
If you’re caught driving while being over the drink drive limit you’ll get an automatic one year ban – and if you’ve had a similar conviction in the past ten years, that becomes a three-year ban.
You could also get an unlimited fine and six months' imprisonment. It's important to remember as well, that when your ban finishes, getting car insurance will become far more difficult and expensive.
So, if you depend on having a car for your job, you could lose more than your license if you're caught drink driving after your Christmas party.
HOW MANY UNITS OF ALCOHOL ARE YOU ALLOWED TO DRIVE ON?
The legal drink drive limit does allow you to have a small amount of alcohol in your system.
A man of average height and weight is able to drink up to four units of alcohol which is equivilant to two pints of normal-strength (4% ABV) beer.
Women can drink slightly less, only three units, the same as a large glass of average strength (12% - 14% ABV) wine.
DON'T DRIVE - MAKE ALTERNATIVE ARRANGEMENTS
If you think you're going to be tempted to have more units than you're allowed, or you just want to have as many drinks as you can in the space of a few hours with your work colleagues, then it's best to leave the car keys at home.
There are a number of alternative arrangements you can make.
If your party is within walking distance of a train station or bus stop, why not plan your route to take advantage of this?
Just remember to make a note of the last train or bus if you're planning to take public transport home as well.
Taxi / Minibus
Whether you get one by yourself or organise a big group of you, getting a taxi takes the pressure off someone having to be the designated driver.
If you're in a group, the cost can be split across all of you making it a reletively cheap option depending on the amount of pickups and drop-offs.
Top Tip: The Christmas party season is a busy one for taxi firms. To guarantee a ride home at a reasonable time, you should book your return journey in advance.
Get A Lift
If you, or a member of your group, has a willing partner or parent to give you a lift, you've secured a free ride to the party.
You might even be able to convince them to pick you up when the party has finished or you're ready to leave.
Book A Hotel Room
This is the most luxurious option and might involve getting a taxi as well depending on how far away the hotel is from the party venue.
Staying overnight takes the hassle out of getting home or trying to organise a lift. You can check in and take your time to get ready.
The next morning, you can have a hearty breakfast (that you don't have to cook) to banish any hangover you might have.
Remember that you could still be over the drink drive limit early the next morning, so make sure you have some food and drinks before you hit the road.
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