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Looking back to last year, more people failed breath rests between 6am and 11am than between 11pm and 1am throughout the Christmas period, and police believe that many motorists are unaware that they are still likely to be over the drink drive limit the following day.
Whilst less people are taking the risk of drink-driving at night, more people are getting into their cars the following morning after a Christmas party, without actually realising that they could still be over the legal limit to drive.
Research by road safety charity Brake backs up this point suggesting that people are failing to understand that just because you have had some sleep it doesn’t mean that you are not still affected by alcohol.
There is no effective way to estimate the level of alcohol in your blood, despite people believing that if they count the units of alcohol they drink, they will be able to stay safely within the limit. This is because alcohol is absorbed into people’s bloodstreams at different rates depending on factors such as height, weight, level of tiredness and how recently you have eaten to name but a few.
The country’s most senior traffic police officer, Deputy Chief Constable Suzette Davenport said: “Drivers need to be aware that regardless of the time of day they are caught, whether they are going to work or taking children to school, they will face the same penalties as someone who has chosen to drink heavily in a pub and driven at night.”
She went on to say that all police officers will be ready to carry out breath tests this Christmas, not just dedicated traffic patrols, with enforcement most prevalent at locations such as pubs and nightclubs where people are more likely to be leaving the premises after drinking, then driving.
There were 280 fatal accidents last year caused by drivers who were over the legal drink drive limit, which is currently 80mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood. Earlier this month the Government announced plans to review the laws on drink driving ending a motorist’s statutory right to demand a blood or urine test having failed a roadside breath test.
More than £780,000 has been put aside for this year’s Think campaign, which will be also aimed at drivers between 20 and 24 who failed more breath tests than any other age group last year.