It is a problem faced by many during festive celebrations. With taxi prices soaring and pubic transport running a reduced schedule driving after drinking alcohol becomes a major issue.
it is a concern shared by members of the public. 2,000 drivers were asked their opinion on drink driving over Christmas by research company One Poll. A staggering 63% of those asked did not agree with Government’s current standing on the legal limit. Over two thirds of the drivers taking part believed that the legal limit should be reduced.
A reduction on the limit has also been called for by experts but the Government have stood strong and believe that better enforcement of the current policy is the best way to deal with the issue. However, only 27% of the people participating in the research believed that the strategy of better police enforcement would work.
“The Government says better enforcement of the law is the answer, yet the number of road policing officers has fallen by 27% since 2011”, comments Hunter Abbott, Managing Director of AlcoSense Laboratories and an Advisor to the Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety.
Years of efforts to reduce drink driving over the Christmas period seems to have had limited success. During the survey 26% of motorists admitted they would get behind the wheel after a few drinks and felt they were under the limit. 13% confessed that they would do so if they felt they were close to the limit but felt ‘just about OK’.
Reasons offered by participants were, feeling ‘sober enough’ (43%), they thought they would ‘probably get away with it’ (38%) and only having ‘a short distance to drive’ (37%) was also used as justification.
Driving the morning after consuming alcohol is also an issue at this time of year. A quarter of people questioned said they would drive at 07:00 the following morning even though they may be over the limit. The research suggests that women are more likely to drive the morning after (26%) to me (23%).
The research shows that the likelihood of younger people, between 18 and 24, driving the morning after is substantially higher. In the age range 45% of participants said they would drive even though alcohol is still in their system.
When participants were told the risks of driving with alcohol in their system their opinions changed. After receiving the information 67% said the drink drive limit should be lowered, 24% said it should be zero and only 18% thought it should stay the same.
The dangers of drink driving are obvious and highlighted by Abbott, “Even one alcoholic drink can slow your reaction time, inhibit judgement, reduce concentration and affect motor skills such as eye, foot and hand co-ordination – increasing the likelihood of an accident”.
Be careful over Christmas and make sure that you drink responsibly and make the correct decisions when planning your journey.