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Keep seasonal excess off the roads says IAM

Monday, 1 December 2008

The IAM welcomes today's Government Christmas campaign launch. The police launch high-profile drink-drive campaigns at this time of year when unwary drivers enjoying seasonal pleasures can be tempted to drive after a few drinks.

IAM Director of Policy and Research, Neil Greig, said: "The vast majority of drivers believe drinking and driving is socially unacceptable and potentially lethal. But in the run-up to Christmas, daily routines change, sometimes unexpectedly. Extra social occasions with friends, family and colleagues can place those who would not normally drink and drive in tricky situations, such as what to do after the office Christmas party. But it is crucial to decide firmly at the outset either not to drink or to leave the car where it is - even if that is the train station car park.

"The wrong decision will bring instant justice, as the police can haul you into court the next day for a fine and a year's driving ban and, if you cause a fatal or serious accident, a prison sentence of up to 14 years can apply. Then there are the less formal penalties, such as the inconvenience of being car-less, the possibility of losing your job and the social stigma of a criminal record. When you eventually get back behind the wheel, you will face years of sky-high insurance costs."

Remember:

* Even one drink can reduce your determination not to drive

* At parties, drinks measures will be more generous than those served in pubs

* You face being breathalysed if you are involved in a road accident - even if it is not your fault

* Drinking heavily the night before can put you over the legal limit the morning after

* As you make your way home without the car, remember that a high proportion of road accidents involve pedestrians who have been drinking. Don't attempt to walk home drunk along rural roads or attempt to cross busy roads you only know as a driver

* If you are driving, don't drink; and always refuse a lift from someone you know has been drinking.