WITH office Christmas party season on the horizon, Brits need to be aware of just how “jolly” they’re getting if they plan on driving home.
Drink driving peaks during the festive season and despite harsh penalties a number of motorists are still taking the risk.
Research conducted by First4Lawyers found 29 per cent of drivers admitted to drink driving, and many confessed to employing a range of tactics they thought would reduce their chances of being caught.
More than a third said they could drink-drive if they stuck to the speed limit to avoid being pulled over, while 16 per cent thought driving down back roads was the best way to avoid being caught.
Unfortunately these won’t work as police are able to conduct random breath tests at any time – even if you’re sticking to all other road laws.
And police will run extra patrols to catch dangerous drink-drivers in the run up to Christmas – in 2015 more than half a million roadside test were conducted.
Other motorists thought consuming food or drinking coffee would help soak up the alcohol and sober them up.
While this tactic may make the driver feel better, the alcohol will already be in their system, meaning driving ability will be impaired regardless.
Unwitting drivers thought they could fool police simply by removing the smell of alcohol on their breath.
One in 10 thought chewing gum would help them and five per cent felt spraying perfume would have the same effect – but both are unlikely to fool an experienced traffic cop.
Finally, just two per cent of drink drivers thought making themselves vomit would get rid of the alcohol, but by the time alcohol reaches your stomach, your body has well and truly absorbed it into the blood.
The alcohol limit for England, Wales and Northern Ireland is 35 micrograms per 100 millilitres of breath, while drivers in Scotland are allowed just 22 micrograms for the same reading.
And while there is no certain way of measuring exactly how many drinks this equals, drivers can be certain that no matter what tricks they try to reduce their alcohol reading, nothing but time will work.
Drivers risk up to six months imprisonment, an unlimited fine and a lengthy driving ban as a maximum penalty if they are caught driving while above the legal limit.
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Andrew Cullwick, spokesman for First4Lawyers, said: “Many drivers believe they are above the law, despite the danger they pose to themselves and other drivers by breaking the rules of the road.
“Bar staff, pub owners and the general public are also encouraged to report drink drivers, meaning that despite actions to avoid the police, drink drivers may have already been caught before they know it.”