One in five motorists has driven the morning after a night of heavy drinking despite being concerned that they were still over the limit, according to AA research.
Although the AA’s survey found more people (54%) are pre-arranging how they will get home after a night out, either by public transport or with a designated driver, many are still not aware how much the alcohol could still be affecting them the day after.
The motoring organisation also uncovered worrying evidence of the reckless things that some drivers do in the belief that it will lower the alcohol level in their blood, as well as regional variations in the things that people think will work.
The most common techniques were:
· Drink lots of water (37%)
· Eat a fried breakfast (16%)
· Drink fruit juice (9%
· Take aspirin (6%)
· Go for a run (3%)
· Drink Irn-Bru (2%)
· and eat chocolate (2%)
People who live in London and the South East are most likely to try to sober up by drinking water, along with 69% of drivers aged 18-24.
Having a fried breakfast was popular among younger drivers and with people in London and the North East.
Drivers in the North East were more likely to have a fried breakfast than go for a run. Eight per cent of young drivers thought going for a run would reduce their blood alcohol level.
In Scotland, 9% think that drinking Irn-Bru will sober them up, compared with just 1% elsewhere in the UK.
Although some of these tricks may seem to work, there is no definite way to know whether you are still over the limit without taking a breathalyser test.
Over half of those polled by the AA said that they agree on a designated driver before heading out.
Women are more likely to make this arrangement, with 58% doing so compared to 52% of men.
Around 61% of people in the East of England agree who will be the designated driver beforehand, the highest in the country, closely followed by those who live in the South West where 60% do so.
Edmund King, President at the AA, said: “Alcohol levels in the body can still mean that drivers are over the limit the following morning and we want to ensure that people are fully aware of this when they are making the decision whether or not to get behind the wheel.
“There are many urban myths and rituals used to try to counter hangovers and reduce blood alcohol levels but the only safe method is to drink less or give adequate time for the alcohol to leave your system.
“The same penalties, such as a minimum year’s ban, for drink driving apply the morning after as they do the night before.”
Despite the concerns raised by the AA research, the number of drink drive deaths has reached the lowest level since records began, with between 230 and 240 people being killed each year since 2010.
Police in many areas are cracking down on morning drink drivers over the Christmas period by doing random breathalyser tests.
Across the four weeks of the 2014 festive drink and drug driving campaign, West Midlands Police will be naming all of those people who are charged with the offence and are appearing before court.