We all have places to go and people to see, and although our national railways can get us to many places we need to go, sometimes we feel that we just need to drive. Time pressures, location, distractions in the vehicle, and more cause far too many people to take unnecessary risks or make poor decisions. One of these, of course, is drink driving, and with the season of parties upon us, we need to be vigilant and plan ahead for nights out.
It’s so easy to see how it happens and is the reason so many people end up needing drink driving solicitors. You’ve driven to a party or a bar in a neighbouring part of town, and it’s after midnight. You’ve ended up staying longer than planned and without being mindful of it, have consumed a few more pints than was prudent. But knowing that you have to get up and go to work in the morning, you get in the car and drive home because, well, how else are you supposed to get home? It happens hundreds of times a week, and people often get to where they’re going without incident – no one gets hurt or killed, no one even knows the driver is impaired.
But the driver is impaired. Statistically, just having a second drink doubles your chances of having a fatal accident. That figure should make you pause – how often have any of us slid into the driver’s seat after a second drink? The problem is that many people rely on their vehicles to get them from point A to B and don’t plan for an alternative. Alcohol’s double-edged power is that it emboldens us to think that we are not impaired even as it depresses our central nervous system to slow our reaction times and muddle our judgment.
Complicating matters is the fact that the relationship between blood-alcohol content and impairment is far from clear, as evidenced by the different drink driving limits: In England, the limit is 80 milligrammes of alcohol per 100 milligrammes of blood, but in 2014 Scotland lowered its limit to just 50 milligrammes. Some European countries have an extremely low limit, under 50 milligrammes, some are similar to England’s, and some allow for absolutely zero alcohol in any kind of test. The last one is problematic, however, as you could actually test positive if you’ve used certain types of mouthwash.
What to do? Plan ahead for every outing this December. Have enough money on you to cover a taxi ride home even from a neighbouring town, know when the last train leaves that will get you home, or whatever other contingency might occur to you. Don’t make this Christmas one to remember for the wrong reason.