Drink-drive deaths rise in UK
Dangerous, misleading, drink-drive myths which inspire a false sense of security have been ‘busted’ to keep you safe throughout Christmas 2019, GEM Motoring Assist revealed. For example, you might think that it is safe to drink then get behind the wheel following a ‘good night’s sleep’. No. This is not necessarily true.
Why? Because it can take longer than you might expect for alcohol to pass through your system. On this basis, 15% - 20% of drivers who fail a breath test do so the morning after drinking. Also, coffee cannot ‘sober you up’. Whereas coffee might make you feel more alert, there is still the same amount of alcohol in your body.
Rise in drink-drive deaths
Perhaps myths contributed to the rise in the number of people killed via drink-driving. UK Department for Transport figures show:
- In 2017, 250 people were killed which equated to an increase of 9% compared to the previous year.
- In 2017, drink-driving claimed the lives of more people than any year since 2009.
Such rises coincided with a fall in the number of motorists breathalysed at the roadside. In 2017, there were 56,000 fewer tests than in 2016. However, GEM Road Safety Officer, Neil Worth, emphasised that this is not an excuse to take silly risks. He said:
‘Please do not think that just because you are less likely to be stopped and breathalysed by police that it is acceptable to drive after drinking alcohol. It is absolutely not. Figures show that more people are dying as a result of someone’s choice to drink drive than at any time during the past decade’, Mr Worth confirmed.
More drink-drive myths busted
Some other myths busted. For example:
- ‘Consuming a heavy meal means I cannot get drunk.’ This statement is false. Why? Because food cannot stop your body absorbing alcohol. At best, it can only slow the process down.
- ‘I will not be impaired unless I drink a lot.’ This too is a myth. Why? Because impairment can start from your first drink.
- ‘If I get caught drink-driving, I can avoid serious penalties if it is a first offence.’ Not true. Why? Because you get a mandatory 12 month ban, a large fine – plus a criminal record.
Neil Worth added: ‘Do not ever take a risk with drink-driving. If you are going out for a few drinks, then make arrangements to get home. A £20 taxi fare is definitely worth every penny for your peace of mind. If you prefer to drive stay on soft drinks. Or why not have an alcohol-free night out then avoid any risk altogether?’