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Get in the driving spirit, but don’t let the spirit get into you

By Kyle Linsay
Wednesday, August 26, 2015 - 17:00

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This week’s tips from the IAM’s head of driving standards, Peter Rodger are all about avoiding the temptations of drink-driving this summer. Here are Peter’s top tips to ensure your safety is never compromised.

  • If you’ve already had a couple of drinks, don’t try to calculate whether or not you’re over the limit, as any amount of alcohol is hazardous if you’re driving. If you have no other choice but to drive, simply avoid drinking completely.
  • If you know you’re going to have some alcohol, ask someone else to drive you to your destination, or arrange for a taxi. The same applies for when you are leaving – not having your car there will mean you’re not tempted to drive back. Make sure you refuse a lift from anyone that has been drinking too.
  • If you drank the night before, you may still be over the legal limit the following day. If you’re involved in a collision that’s not your fault but are the driver, you may still get caught by the police when you are breathalysed. Bear this in mind and don’t risk it – arrange for alternative travel plans the next morning.
  • Don’t feel pressured to drink especially if you don’t really want one. Don’t be influenced by others around you, you will only end up putting your licence and liberty at stake.
  • Some crashes involve pedestrians who have been drinking and drivers who haven’t. Look out for pedestrians walking late at night and be prepared for them to step out without looking your way.
  • Remember that the legal limit in England and Wales is 80mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood, while the limit in Scotland is 50mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood. Bear in mind these limits are only a guide as everyone’s body reacts differently – depending on your weight, height and metabolism you may still be over the legal limit even if you have consumed less than the stated amount.
  • Driving under the influence can lead to three months’ imprisonment, up to £2,500 fine and a compulsory driving ban across the UK.

Peter said: “There has been enough education about drink-driving for no-one to claim ‘I didn’t know’. Quite simply you are in no condition to handle a motor vehicle or bike with any amount of alcohol on your system – and you could wreck someone else’s life. It’s very simple: drinking and driving don’t belong together.”

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