Don’t get behind the wheel the morning after a big night of festive boozing

Christmas drink-driving warning.
Christmas drink-driving warning.

Motorists are being urged to ensure they’re safe to drive behind getting behind the wheel the morning after a big night out.

Police say that although most know not to drive home after a night out drinking, far fewer consider whether they are still over the drink-drive limit the following morning.

During the festive season the Beds, Herts and Cambs road policing unit will be doing breath checks on drivers around the clock - including the morning rush hour.

Chief Insp Richard Hann said: “While most drivers now know it’s a bad idea to get behind a wheel after night out drinking, many still forget just how long it takes for alcohol to leave their system.

“As a result they get in the car the next morning while they are still over the limit and it is still unsafe for them to drive. Any amount of alcohol in your system can affect your response times and ability to judge speeds and distances well while driving. You might think you have slept off the effects of the drink but haven’t and it’s still dangerous for you to drive.”

The rate that alcohol leaves the system varies from person to person so much that it is impossible to predict exactly when it is safe to drive again.

Motorists convicted of drink-driving face a minimum of a 12-month ban from driving and a fine and/or time behind bars.

Revellers are also being warned of the perils of drunk-walking this festive season.

According to price comparison website Confused.com more than one in seven pedestrians were injured on UK roads in the last three years while under the influence of alcohol.

New figures reveal that drunk walking injuries peak in December and it is men who are involved in three quarters of incidents.

Statistics show that drunk pedestrians are most are risk between the times of 10pm and just before midnight.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, one in ten pedestrians say they have been hit or nearly hit by a car after drinking too much.

Most incident happen on busy streets - 23 per cent, outside pubs - 19 per cent, clubs - 16 per cent and bars - 14 per cent.

Head of motor insurance at Confused.com Gemma Stanbury said: “There is already much being done to raise awareness around the dangers of drink-driving, but it is the responsibility of all road users – both motorists and pedestrians - to act responsibly when near or on the roads.”