17:24 Tuesday 03 December 2013

Warning to drivers over night-before drinking

Written bySARAH BOULD

DRIVERS are being warned about the risks of getting behind the wheel the morning after downing a few festive drinks.

Police in Burton have been targeting drink-drivers in the lead-up to Christmas, and the dangers of driving the morning after consuming alcohol is being highlighted.

Inspector Rob Neeson said: “In previous years people have got stopped the following morning and ended up getting arrested. It’s about awareness.

“Most drivers are now aware of the risk they are taking when they drink the night before.

“I have seen people end up in the cells and lose their licence.

“Though most people are aware of the risk, there are those people that don’t consider it.”

He added that police in Burton would continue to stop drivers overnight and into the mornings to make sure drink-drive limits were being adhered to.

An online calculator at morning-after.org.uk shows how long it takes for different drinks to leave the system.

However, Insp Neeson said these were not reliable as everybody is different.

Chief Constable Suzette Davenport, who leads road policing at the Association of Chief Police Officers, said: “We are still seeing incidents where people are unwittingly driving to work or going out the morning after a night out and are still over the limit.

“It takes an hour to process a single unit of alcohol, starting from one hour after you first consume alcohol, so if you have three 250ml glasses of wine, you’re probably looking at nine hours of so before you’re sober – and even then it’s not an exact science.

“The answer is a simple one. If you know you have to drive, don’t drink. And if the thought of going out and not drinking is just too much to bear, don’t drive.”

The Mail asked readers whether they would get behind the wheel if they had drank the night before. Claire Whetton said: “No, it’s completely selfish and irresponsible to do so.

“Just because you feel fine the next day doesn’t mean that you are safe or legally allowed to drive. If you know that you need to drive the next day, then don’t drink. Pretty simple, really.”

In 2011, more people failed breath tests between the hours of 6am and 11am than during an hour either side of midnight.

Cash rewards are being offered to those who report drink-drivers.

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