We are all well aware of the dangers of drink driving, with designated drivers for nights out, and an increasing number of non-alcoholic options available to those who want to avoid a boozy session, particularly at this time of year.
But how many of us have a big night out and then fail to consider the effect that that alcohol could still be having on us and our ability to drive safely the morning after then night before?
We are all different, and our bodies process alcohol differently – while the blood alcohol limit in England, Wales and Northern Ireland may be 80 mg/100ml and 50mg / 100ml in Scotland, there is no way of knowing how many milligrammes one unit of alcohol will produce in your bloodstream. For this reason, sticking to the government’s “recommended units” may not always mean you are safe to drive the following day, not least because each of us processes alcohol at a different rate too.
Sleep is not the magic solution either - research by the Institute of Advance Motorists has shown that most people do not appreciate that, just because they have been to sleep has no bearing on their level of alcohol on their bloodstream.
A glass of water (or two) before going to bed will certainly rehydrate you, and a morning cup of coffee will give you a caffeine boost to wake up, but neither of these can speed up the rate at which alcohol leaves your system – that is down to the work of enzymes in your liver and cannot be speeded up.
If you cannot avoid the party season completely, then charity DrinkAware has some tips to help you cut your alcohol consumption:
Alternate alcoholic drinks with soft drinks or water
Drink singles rather than doubles
Choose lower strength drinks rather than spirits or strong beers or ciders
Stop drinking early enough to ensure your body has time to process the booze in your system before the morning.
41,000 drink driving arrests were made in 2017, the majority of them the morning after a night of celebration. Is one more beer really worth losing your licence for?