Christmas Party? Don’t Drive The Morning After

It’s the festive season and, for many of us, Christmas parties. But driving the morning after festivities is a bad idea. Here’s why…

A Needless Risk

For millions of Brits, Christmas is a time for partying with friends, family and co-workers. And, as with most parties, there’s usually a liberal attitude towards wines, beers and spirits. And why not, it’s the end of the year and a time to unwind and have fun.

Most of us, quite sensibly, will drink responsibility – putting our car keys away and relying upon taxis or designated drivers. Nevertheless, a significant minority will let themselves down and drive over the limit. Not all of them, however, will do so knowingly.

Research conducted by AlcoSense, a breathalyser company, has found that up to 44% of drivers will drive before 11 am the day after a Christmas-related celebration and having drunk heavily. Over a fifth intend to drive before 9 am. Just one is six (17%) will wait until after midday before taking to the road.

If a person stopped drinking at 1 am, alcohol will likely remain in their systems until the afternoon the following day. As a result, an exceptionally large amount of us are running the risk of drink-driving. Many of us are unaware that 20% of roadside test failures occur the day after the offender had been drinking. In addition, a third of all tests take place between 7 am and 1 pm. In December 2018, 57,000 tests were carried out; nine percent of these ended in failures.

Ignorance around Drink-Driving 

According to AlcoSense’s research, drivers are simply ignorant of the risk factors involved with drinking. A staggering 36% of motorists don’t understand that driving the next day doesn’t instantly make a person alcohol-free. Folk myths are still circulating, too. 49% of respondents felt that a good night’s sleep is sufficient in sobering up. 40% felt that a hearty breakfast would suffice and 24% felt they could rely upon a ‘strong black coffee’ alone.

Unfortunately, sleep, food, coffee and cold showers do practically nothing to remove alcohol from our systems. They only things that work are our livers and the time it takes to purge our systems; which is dependent on what we’ve drunk, how much we’ve drunk, our gender, size and metabolisms.

Hunter Abbott, managing director of AlcoSense, offered drivers his own advice. He said, “it takes about an hour to break down one unit of alcohol, and there’s nothing you can do to speed up the rate it leaves your system”. He added, “drivers should either abstain completely or use a personal breathalyser to make sure they’re clear of alcohol the following day”.

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