Revellers have been warned not to drink and drive as they welcome in the new year.
A survey suggests that some people will drink so much on December 31 that they could have illegal alcohol levels in their blood for almost all of New Year’s Day – greatly increasing their risk of being involved in a road traffic accident if they get behind the wheel.
Over the limit
An AA/Populus poll found that one in five people plan to drink at least 10 units of alcohol at New Year’s Eve celebrations. This would mean they would still be over the legal drink-drive limit by midday on January 1, the AA warned.
Some 13% said they would drink enough to still put them over the limit by 6pm. And 2% would drink so much that they risked still being over the limit at 10pm on New Year’s Day.
The survey of more than 21,000 motorists aged 18-34 found that those in London and the North East were likely to drink the most at New Year celebrations. Drivers in Northern Ireland were most likely to say they would not be drinking at all.
A separate AA/Populus survey carried out earlier this year found that 56% of drivers do not know when it is safe to get behind the wheel the morning after a night out.
Police figures also reveal that in 2011, more people failed breath tests between the hours of 6am and 11am than during the hour before or after midnight.
AA Driving School managing director Jim Kirkwood said many people are unaware of the accident risk caused by being over the limit the morning after drinking.
He added: “The best advice we can give is to avoid excessive drinking if you know you need to drive the following day.”
A spokeswoman from the Department for Transport said: “Even if you look and feel sober the morning after drinking, your body may still be way over the limit. If caught, you’ll get a minimum 12-month driving ban, a criminal record, and you could even end up in jail.
“The message is clear: if you are going to drink, don’t even consider driving, and think very carefully about whether you are really safe to drive in the morning. It can have devastating effects on your life and on the lives of other people.”
If you’ve been injured or want to make a car accident claim, specialist advice is available from Accident Advice Helpline. Contact them today on their freephone number – 0800 689 0500 – to speak to a member of their expert team.
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