Is Not Having A Christmas Drink Really That Bad?


The festive period is in full swing and everybody is looking forward to having a relaxing drink.

Drink Driving
Auto Express in association with the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) have just launched their 'No Drink, No Doubt' campaign encouraging drinkers to step away from the open bar and grab a soft drink instead.

But, is this too much to ask at this time of year?

Drink Driving Misconceptions

No doubt this campaign is a welcomed by all. In 2012, around 280 people lose their lives every year in crashes were someone was over the drink driving limit. Currently, in England and Wales, the drink driving limit is set at 35mg per 100 millilitres of breath. The most common and well-known method of identifying drink drivers is a breathalyser test. These are usually conducted by the roadside when a police officer suspects a driver of drinking under the influence of alcohol.

IAM surveyed people on one of their rehabilitation courses and found that 13% recorded no higher than 55mg per 100ml when they were tested by the roadside. Despite only being a fraction over the limit, drivers in this bracket still warrant an average ban of 16 months when convicted of an offence of drink driving.

There is a common misconception that there are ways to speed up the sobering process, just in time to drive home. It is however, an old wives tale that you can 'sober up' using coffee or eating a fry up to 'soak up the alcohol'. There's no quick way to get the alcohol out of your system or reduce it and there are many factors that affect the way alcohol affects the body. Height, weight, gender and even if you've eaten before drinking can all affect whether or not you are over the legal limit before you get behind the wheel.

For these and other reasons, such as offence and offender mitigation, judges are afforded discretion when determining the sentence of a drink driver.

Get Legal Advice

The morning after the night before is another problem for motorists who decide to have a drink. According to the website Respect Yourself, it can take 11 hours for 3 pints or 3 large glasses of wine to leave your system, nowhere near enough time to sober up.

It's not an admission of guilt to say that you had a drink the night before but, being aware of the facts and how alcohol affects you can go some way to help avoid the problem of drink driving in the first place. Yes, abstaining from having a drink is the only way to guarantee that you won’t become a drink driver but the legal limits are there for a reason. Unfortunately, falling foul of them is a serious offence that requires immediate legal advice.

Drink Drive procedure at the road side and procedure is complex and mistakes are often made by tired or over worked police officers. Flawed procedure can result in acquittals if the mistakes are sufficiently serious. For this reason advice should always be sought as in most drink driving cases a conviction and disqualification can often lead to the end of someone’s livelihood.

Julie Robertson, Partner and Head of Motoring Offences at Simpson Millar LLP is offering free 20 minute sessions in which she'll be able to evaluate the evidence and give you advice on the options available to you, without any obligation. When times are busy, you can call Julie directly on her mobile, on 07508 517987, and get some quick advice.

This will be able to clear up many of the questions you may have about how to best deal with a drink driving charge. After this, you'll be able to make your own decision on how best to proceed.

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