Seven common sense tips to avoid a drink driving conviction
1. If there’s a chance you may drink alcohol, always leave your vehicle at home
If you are going out for a drink, always leave your vehicle at home. Remember it only takes one or two drinks to push you over the limit. While this tip may seem obvious, many people tend to ignore it for the temporary convenience of making a quicker outward journey. After a few drinks, however, the prospect of travelling home via public transport or waiting for a taxi may not seem so appealing, and that’s when people get into problems.
Of course, there are plenty of alternative ways to get home. Rather than wait for a cab, try to book one in advance. If using public transport, check the schedules ahead of time so you don’t have to hang around at the bus stop or on the station platform. You may also want to consider staying at a friend’s place overnight or arranging a lift with a friend who hasn’t been drinking.
2. Appoint a designated driver
Going out with friends provides another good way to avoid drink driving by appointing a ‘designated driver’ for the group.
3. Do not consume alcohol
The limit as of June 2010 is 80 mg of alcohol in 100 ml of blood. As a result of the recent North Review, however, this may soon fall to 50mg/100ml. Consequently, if you drive after drinking only a minimal amount of alcohol you are taking a huge risk. The simplest way to avoid being over the limit therefore is to abstain completely from drinking alcohol.
4. Do not rely on sobering-up tricks
‘Sobering up’ tricks do not work. Drinking five pots of coffee and taking a frigid shower will have no impact on the level of alcohol in your body. It will just make you cold and need to visit a bathroom more regularly. And no, sucking on copper 1p or 2p coins doesn’t work either… Time is the only way to get the alcohol out of your system and you could still be over the legal limit many hours after drinking.
5. Watch the clock
After you drink, you should wait a long time before you drive. Remember if you drink heavily the night before you drive, your ability to drive may be impaired when you awake, even if you feel relatively sober. Make sure you wait a suitable amount of time after drinking before you get behind a wheel again. If you’re in any doubt regarding your sobriety, don’t chance it.
6. Do not drink on an empty stomach
The amount of food in your stomach will increase the rate of alcohol absorption and decrease the amount of time you need to avoid driving after drinking.
Whatever you do, think! Always remember the risks and penalties of drink driving. Drinking alcohol impairs your ability to drive and the legal consequences of a drink driving conviction are severe and long-lasting. You could face up to 14 years imprisonment, an unlimited fine, and a minimum two years driving ban.