Enjoy a drink but don’t drink-drive

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As the sun comes out and summer begins, it’s time to get the barbecue out and enjoy a drink or two.

Unfortunately the increase in alfresco dining and wine consumption goes hand in hand with the number of people each year convicted of drink driving.

Getting behind the wheel after just a couple of drinks can have life changing consequences.

There is no failsafe way of knowing how much alcohol consumed will put you over the legal limit.

That’s especially the case when you are in a friend’s home rather than a pub.

‘Home pours’ are much more generous than at your local and will put you over the limit quicker.

Additionally there is always the risk that you may pick up somebody’s much stronger drink without realising.

The general message from campaign groups is that if you have had any amount of alcohol, don’t get into the driver’s seat.

If you’re unsure, don’t get behind the wheel.

It’s also important to remember that alcohol can affect you the morning after a heavy drinking session, or if your last drink was late and you’re up early to drive.

Many of the people who come to me for help are stopped the morning after drinking with alcohol still in their systems.

Just because your last drink was a few hours ago and you’ve slept since, it doesn’t mean the alcohol is out of your system.

Again there’s a simple message: If in doubt, don’t get in the car.

If you do the consequences could be drastic.

Even if you don’t have a crash, can you really afford to lose your licence?

You are guaranteed to be banned from driving for at least 12 months if you are caught.

You will have a criminal record and not being able to drive could massively impact your family.

If driving is part of your work you could even lose your job.

Don’t find yourself becoming a statistic in the latest round of drink drive figures for the sake of a few drinks, or worse, find that your actions have altered your own and others’ lives forever.

Paul Reddy

Head of road traffic defence, Slater and Gordon