Mud, music and mayhem: Driving home from festivals

Festival season is well under way, many have already ‘glittered-up’, donned a flower crown and gone too many days without a shower.

But for some, having a few drinks at a music festival is all part of the experience and after a few days and many drinks it can be difficult to keep track. Staying overnight is a safe option but alcohol can still be in your system the next day – use the Confused.com ‘morning after calculator’ to help make it clearer just how long it can take for alcohol to wear off. And it’s longer than you think!

The calculator shows just how long it can take for alcohol to leave your system. Users can tally up just how much booze they drank the night before, and the calculator will estimate how long they should wait to be safe to drive. 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.

Don’t risk it

Research conducted by Confused.com revealed nearly a third (29%) of festival-loving motorists have driven home the day after a music festival, with many still feeling the effects of alcohol. According to the survey, one in five (20%) felt hungover, while worryingly a further 6% still felt over the limit. And it is because of this that many people avoid driving. In fact, one in 10 drivers will stay off the road the morning after a local festival because the traffic is bad, while 7% are worried about dangerous driving. Subsequently, more than a fifth (22%) of drivers believe that motorists should not drive after attending a music festival because they have consumed too much alcohol.

While many drivers think a good night’s sleep will do the trick, this is clearly not the case. In fact, more than a third (34%) of motorists who have driven after drinking alcohol felt over the limit. Of these, nearly one in four (24%) claimed they still drove because it was the morning after and they thought they would be fine. And of those who have been caught drink-driving at some point, more than one in seven (15%) said they were caught between 6am and 12pm.

No excuses

The research comes as new data finds the festival season (June – August) accounted for 21% of drink-driving offences in 2018. According to a FOI request obtained by Confused.com, 10,220 motorists were caught drink-driving during festival season last year. In particular, the data reveals July to be one of the most prolific months in 2018 for drink-driving offences. Almost 3,500 motorists were caught drunk-behind the wheel throughout the month. That equates to 113 drivers per day, on average. December tops the list with more than 4,000 drunk drivers recorded over the festive season.

It is no surprise that the summer months see more drink drivers, given more than one in four drivers claim they are more likely to have a drink when the sun is out. And with many more festivals lined up over the coming months, no doubt there will be many hungover drivers on the roads.

As the designated driver, ensure you are capable of driving yourself and any passengers home safely. For instance, look at temporary car insurance cover if a family member or friend is in a better position to drive or maybe just take your time packing up. Moreover, even if you avoided drinking the night before, ensure you are alert, as you can imagine everyone leaving the festival will be a little jaded after the weekend’s activities.