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Drink Drive endorsement is an 11 year "black mark"

Sunday, 13 July 2008

It just isn't worth it

As summer warms up and the thirst for an alcoholic drink increases, the IAM (Institute of Advanced Motorists) has reminded drivers of the perils of accidentally drinking and driving.

An 11 year licence endorsement is just one of the many consequences of a drink offence, although this isn't widely known. There is no foolproof way to check your Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) limit before you get behind the wheel, so the IAM's message to motorists is: if you''re going to drink, don't drive. And if you are going to drive, don''t drink.

Previous surveys have shown a staggering 50 per cent of Britain's 32 million motorists have owned up to driving after drinking alcohol.

"Just one" is often followed by another, especially if people are buying rounds of drinks. And a generous round-buyer may get you a large wine or a double measure of spirits without you realising. This may be a well-meaning gesture, but it could put you over the limit.

Your ability to drive can be affected by even a modest amount of alcohol, at any time of year. Even if you are actually within the limit, alcohol still affects your judgement.

If you're driving abroad on a summer holiday, alcohol limits vary for each individual country, with some countries even having a zero alcohol limit. But the general rule to be safe no matter where you are driving
remains: don't drink and drive.

Why not offer to be the (non-drinking) designated driver? You'll save money and you'll be popular with everyone else you're giving a lift home to.

If you drive at twice the legal limit, you are 30 times more likely crash, and a long sleep or a large cup of coffee after drinking the night before may not be the quick fix you expected to allow you to safely get behind the wheel.

There could be sufficient alcohol in your system to still push you over the legal limit for many hours after you have stopped drinking. So remember to leave at least twelve hours between the "bottle" and the "throttle".