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Don’t Let Christmas Take Away Your Licence

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By SheldonDavidsonSolicitors

Don’t Let Christmas Take Away Your Licence

According to figures from Think! 240 people died in 2013 due to drink driving in the UK.

Did you know that having a second drink can double your chance of a fatal collision?

With the party season in full swing during the lead up to Christmas, the temptation for one more drink when celebrating the festive season can be high. With everyone celebrating, unwinding and getting excited for the Christmas break ahead, having a ‘couple’ of drinks and driving could be tempting.

This year, Think!, who provide safety advice for road users, are attempting to reach out to those drivers who believe it's okay to have a ‘couple’ of drinks and drive. Their new campaign targets those drivers and includes a series of videos with a range of scenarios where drivers could be tempted to drive after having a few drinks.

In the UK drink driving is taken extremely seriously, with those found guilty of doing so suffering strict penalties. The legal alcohol limit for drivers is 35 micrograms of alcohol per 100 millilitres of breath. Which leaves the question, how many drinks can you have in order to stay within the limit?

The answer is; its impossible to say! Many would presume that one drink is okay, but the reality is, we all react to alcohol differently and there are many factors that contribute to how it will affect you. Some of these factors include your weight, sex, age, metabolism, whether you’ve eaten recently, and how your stress levels are at the time of drinking.

Think! who are run by the department of transports advise, that if you are driving, it’s better to avoid drinking all together.

Below are a few hints and tips when it comes to driving over the festive period:

Plan Ahead
If you are thinking of drinking, make sure you plan ahead when it comes to getting home. This has become much more convenient with the introduction of phone applications that connect you with drivers in minutes. You are also able to see available taxis that are close by, which allows you to plan your evening accordingly. Street Cars who are Manchester’s leading private hire taxi firm provide a free app for iPhone and Android; here you can book a vehicle in a quick and convenient way.

The morning after the night before
We have all been there, you’ve ended up staying at friends, or you’ve woken up and you’re craving your favourite hangover cure for breakfast. However, you can still be over the legal limit hours after your last drink. Although you’ve slept, this doesn’t necessarily mean you’re safe to drive. You could in fact still be over the legal limit, and about to put yourself and others in danger.

The morning after calculator was created in 2006 and is supported by 40 road safety teams and organisations. The calculator works by providing a rough ‘estimate’ as to when you are legally safe to drive after drinking. This doesn’t act as a back up if you are found guilty of drink driving as it only calculates when you are roughly able to drive. It’s worth making a note of the calculator if you are planning on making a journey the morning after the night before.

Be wary of who you accept a lift from
Although having read this blog, you will hopefully think twice about having that ‘couple’ of drinks and driving, sadly, others may not be as sensible. It’s important not to accept a lift from anyone who has been drinking; this is extremely dangerous and could lead to a fatal accident. As we mentioned, plan ahead and make a conscious decision before drinking to arrange a lift with someone home that you are certain has not been drinking,

Be cautious of your surroundings
While you may be aware of the dangers of drink driving and its consequences, sadly this is not the case for everyone. According to a recent survey by Co-op Insurance of 2,000 drivers, almost a fifth (18%) said they would drive home over the festive period, even though they’re over the legal limit of alcohol consumption. For other motorists and pedestrians, this presents a significant risk to safety. When you’re out and about over the festive season be mindful of this.

When driving, take extra care by ensuring your speed and stopping distances are correct for the area you are travelling in. This will increase your reaction time, which will benefit your safety particularly if there are drivers around who aren’t so mindful of your safety and remember those pedestrians that may not be as steady on their feet.

When walking, avoid narrow lanes and increase your awareness of your surroundings by planning your route in advance. If you are walking in poorly lit areas also ensure that you are wearing reflective clothing

The consequences 
Aside from putting your life at risk, there are also several other consequences to drink driving. These include a minimum of a 12-month ban, a criminal record, a large fine, and up to six months in prison. There are also other factors to consider such as job loss, being unable to enter other countries such as the USA, increase in car insurance and the overall effect on your loved ones and family.

We wish you a wonderful Christmas from us all at Sheldon Davidson Solicitors and remember, stay safe on the roads during the festive season and don’t let Christmas take away your licence.

If you have been involved in a traffic accident, been the victim of medical negligence or have been injured in any way due to third party liability, then you could be entitled to make a personal injury claim. For assistance and advice on claiming the compensation you deserve, call Sheldon Davidson Solicitors, Manchester's Personal Injury Experts.