Driving After a drink? Think again

Drink Driving: It Costs More Than Just Your License

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Over the years there have been many anti-drink driving campaigns, many focusing on the death and destruction that getting behind the wheel drunk can cause.

It’s not just carnage that comes along with being caught and convicted of driving drunk: motorists also face a fine of up to £2500 and up to a 3 month prison sentence if found guilty. And that’s just if you’re caught without causing a crash; if you cause death by dangerous driving you could be liable to spend up to 14 years in prison.

All of that comes if you actually survive; in 2019 drink drive deaths were at their highest in nearly a decade, with drivers as likely as anyone involved to lose their life in the crash.

Alongside the risk of death, imprisonment and losing your job, there are also additional financial costs to consider when you’re weighing up the pros and cons of taking a risk and driving after a cheeky pint. In 2013, THINK! unveiled a promotional campaign showing a £50,000 pint of beer representing the approximate complete cost of being convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol.

This figure included legal fees, fines, a potential rise in insurance premiums and the cost of possible job loss. Drivers who are convicted of drunk driving also face inconveniences like an inability to find alternative work and social stigma.

This is because it can be hard to get back into driving once you’ve been disqualified, both from a legal point of view and a psychological one. This can have a long-term affect on your confidence, social life and job prospects.

So, what can you do to avoid being convicted of drink driving? The simple answer is not to drive after you’ve had an alcoholic drink.

This sounds easy, but it can be tough to break habits that you’ve had for years, particularly if your social life revolves around drinking. There are a number of ways you can make sure that you’re definitely safe:

  • Learn about the legal limits and how alcohol can affect your body;
  • Even if you only have a small amount of alcohol, allow yourself time for it to wear off and always eat before driving;
  • Find out about alternative methods of getting to your home from your favourite nightspots;
  • Set a designated driver for nights out;
  • Explore the range of alcohol-free and substitute drinks on the market to find your new favourite;
  • Engage in hobbies that don’t involve alcohol like sports so that you’re not tempted;
  • Avoid spending time with friends or acquaintances that don’t practice good driving habits and pressurise you into driving after drinking;
  • Try to limit your alcohol limit in general and not get very drunk;
  • Keep the number of a local taxi firm saved in your phone in case you find yourself stuck without a way to get home.

Ultimately, it’s your responsibility to make sure that you drive safely. Alcohol can cause serious issues for drivers, and that’s why it’s illegal to drink and drive. If you struggle to drive to a high standard when even sober, then consider enrolling on an intensive driving course to improve your driving prowess.

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