10 million motorists could unknowingly drive under the influence of alcohol this festive period
Vanarama presented 1,000 UK adults with five drink-driving scenarios, and revealed the following results:
28% of UK motorists are unaware that drinking a glass of champagne with their meal would put them over the alcohol limit in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland. Against the UK driving population (36 million), this means just over 10 million drivers could be risking it this year.
22% of UK adults – or 8 million drivers – are unaware that drinking two small glasses of wine will put you over the alcohol limit.
Six million drivers could be risking the morning after a night of drinking. When asked if 12 hours was enough to stabilise your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) after eight cans of cider, 1 in 6 (17%) wrongly said it was safe to.
Simply standing next to your car whilst over the limit can land you £2,500 in fines and three months’ imprisonment
Under English law, it is entirely possible to be charged with drink driving without having been behind the wheel. If it can be proven that you were intending to drive a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, then you could be charged with drink driving. Indicators of this include:
Being in close proximity to your vehicle
Being inside your vehicle but not in the driving seat
Having the keys in the ignition
Having a reason to drive, such as needing to be at work or having a booked appointment, which provides a clear motivation for you to get behind the wheel despite being over the alcohol limit, can be seen as evidence of your intentions.
If you have consumed more than the legal alcohol limit it is not worth going anywhere near your vehicle, as simply being close to it or being in possession of the car keys could be enough to lead to a charge of drink driving – which could include up to three months’ imprisonment, up to £2,500 in fines and a possible driving ban.
Actually driving or attempting to drive under the influence raises this to six months’ imprisonment, unlimited fines, and a driving ban of at least one year.
Causing death by careless driving while intoxicated could result in 14 years behind bars, unlimited fines, and a two-year minimum ban.