The summer season brings with it plenty of opportunities for social occasions. Barbeques, festivals and other outdoor events often combine good times, food and drink – but for the designated driver, it can be a frustrating time.
Motorists think one or two beers or glasses of wine won’t affect them and that they’ll be sober enough to drive home. But why take the risk, potentially jeopardising your licence and career for a few sips of alcohol?
Here are our top tips this summer to avoid temptation and being caught under the influence behind the wheel, or in an alcohol-related incident:
- Don’t try and calculate how much alcohol you can take in and whether or not you’ll be over the limit. Home measures are generally larger and less accurate and drinking in the day is proven to affect us more, increasing natural fatigue in the late afternoon.
- Many crashes involve pedestrians under the influence, so take care when driving past pubs and entertainment hotspots on your way home. While you might be aware and in control of your motor skills, others may not be.
- If you are at an event and drink more than you expected to, do not risk it. Call a taxi or get a friend to take you home. A few pounds spent on a lift compared to the cost of losing your licence won’t seem so steep in the long run.
- Even better, if you know you’re going to have a drink, leave the car at home and book a taxi or pre-arrange a lift home.
- If you know someone has been consuming alcohol, don’t let them drive home. Alcohol can induce aggressive reactions, but it’s for their own and other road users and pedestrians safety. They’ll thank you for it in the morning.
- Ignore peer pressure. Your friends or family might not want to pay for a taxi, or especially in young male drivers, bravado can be an issue. Don’t give in – it’s your licence that is at stake and you’re the one in control.
Overall, the most important thing is to respect that alcohol alters your coordination, reactions and confidence. Getting behind the wheel after these attributes have been modified is dangerous and, above all, illegal.