The morning after can be just as dangerous as the night before

With the Christmas party season in full swing, Somerset County Council’s Road Safety Team is reminding motorists of the morning after drink-drive risk.

Most people know the dangers of driving under the influence of alcohol and wouldn’t dream of putting lives at risk by driving home after a night out drinking.

The dangers of driving the morning after a night out drinking and how long alcohol can remain in the bloodstream, are less well known. That means people going through all the trouble of having a designating a driver or booking a taxi for a night out may not think twice about getting in their car the following morning.

Commonly held beliefs that cup of coffee, a cold shower or a big breakfast will sober you up are false. They may make you feel better, but they can’t remove alcohol from the bloodstream – the only thing that can do that is time.

As a rough guide it takes the body one hour to process one unit of alcohol, but this can vary due to a number of factors. The Morning After calculator app has been developed to show just how long it takes for alcohol to pass through your system.

The calculator cannot provide you with an exact result because alcohol affects everyone differently, but it can provide a rough time for when it will be safe to drive or ride. The app can be downloaded from www.morning-after.org.uk.

On the run up to Christmas Avon and Somerset Police will be running Operation Tonic, targeting drunk drivers in our area.

If you suspect someone of drink driving you can report them using Avon and Somerset Constabulary’s dedicated drink drive number; simply text the word ‘drunk’ to 07400249101 with brief details of the car, location and driver.

Anyone convicted of drink driving faces a minimum 12-month driving ban and a criminal record.

Councillor John Woodman, Somerset County Council’s Cabinet Member for Highways, said: “We all want to enjoy ourselves over the Christmas period and while no one wants to put a stop to that fun it’s important to ensure that everyone stays safe.

Drinking and driving doesn’t mix, so if you’re going to be indulging in a festive tipple or two plan-ahead and make sure you know how you and your loved ones are getting home safely.

I want everyone to have a wonderful Christmas, to keep themselves and their families safe and to have none for the road.”

For more information on road safety please visit www.somersetroadsafety.org.