Warnings over party season driving

Warnings over party season driving

Britain's top advanced driver, Peter Rodger, is offering a few tips on safety behind the wheel over the Christmas period.

The IAM charity's chief examiner said that this time of year brings lots of parties - involving even the seemingly innocent brandy puddings and mulled wine - so it's essential toplan your route home without driving.

He said that over the Christmas and new year period, drivers should never calculate whether they have had enough to stay just below the legal limit, as it is "almost impossible to get right".

He also said that drivers should beware drinks measures poured at home - as they are usually larger than ones poured in pubs - no matter how mean you may think some of your hosts are. It can be very easy to underestimate how much alcohol you have had, and pub wine measures have also become bigger over the years - one glass could be more than enough to push you over the limit.

Other simple measures include calling for a taxi or taking a bus, or arranging for friends to collect you, if you arrive at a party and drink without having expected to.

Even if it was not your fault, Rodger asserts, if you are involved in a road accident you will be breathalysed. "Somebody's mistake could become your problem," he said.

Then there's the morning after to consider. A drinking session the night before can easily put drivers over the limit the next day, and alternative travel plans are always worth considering.

Also, be wary of people giving you a lift home if they have been drinking. You should always refuse.

If you're convicted of drink-driving, the costs can be as much as £50,000 - taking into account losing your job, costs and other potential consequences.

Rodger said: "Driving is not a good mixer - it doesn't go well with spirits, beer or wine. Either drink or drive - you cannot do both. Be rigid - people will respect you for not mixing the two things."

Copyright Press Association 2013