Christmas party season is in full swing, the fridge is filling up, and the Christmas Eve lock-in at the local is nearly here.
It may not be a huge surprise to learn that December is the worst month for drink-driving offences, but the scale of the problem has been laid bare in new data from 41 police forces following an FOI request by confused.com.
More than 5,500 drivers were caught drink-driving in December 2017 – that’s 179 people every day. Pretty astonishing numbers, but an especially interesting revelation in the data is that more than a quarter (28%) of those caught drink-driving said this occurred the morning after drinking.
This goes to reinforce that drink-driving isn’t just idiots leaving the pub and chancing their way home, it’s unsuspecting (and sometimes naïve) regular Joes and Jills thinking they did the right thing by sleeping off last night’s efforts before getting on with their day.
One in five motorists don’t know how long they should wait after drinking before they get back behind the wheel. Thankfully, confused.com have built a ‘morning after calculator’. An important disclaimer is that the morning after calculator should not be used in place of sensible caution. The safest bet is always to not drink if you are going to be driving – that’s it.
If you’ll allow me to break the fourth wall, dear reader, I was genuinely shocked to see how long it would take for my body to be alcohol-free after a typical night out – and I’m not even a big drinker. I really do recommend you check it out and plug in the sort of quantities you might drink at your Christmas party or next night on the town. I reckon you will be shocked by how long you should be waiting before driving the next day.
In terms of the guilty parties, the finger is pointed squarely at men, responsible for a stunning 83% of all drink-driving offences in 2017.
Ultimately, it doesn’t matter where you are or who you are. Remember – if you’re going to be drinking, don’t risk driving. The best outcome you can hope for is a 12-month driving ban. The worst doesn’t bear thinking about.
Stay safe and enjoy a mocktail or two next time you’ve got a big drive coming up. Who knows the difference it could make?