Millions of motorists ignoring the risks of driving the morning after the night before

26th August 2014

A new report suggests that millions of UK motorists are putting the lives of other road users at risk and could face losing their driving license because they are driving the morning after a drinking session.

Car insurance specialist Admiral surveyed 2,000 motorists as part of its annual Survey of Motorists and found that a third of motorists have driven the morning after an evening of heavy drinking, even though they suspected they were still over the limit. The figure rises to 40% of men, compared with 25% of women.

Justin Beddows from Admiral, said: “A lot of people will have spent the bank holiday drinking with friends, our research suggests many of them could have still been over the limit when they got behind the wheel the next day.

“It’s scary just how many people are willing to drive their car despite thinking they are probably still over the drink drive limit. Not only are they risking a hefty fine and driving ban, they are putting their own lives and the lives of others at risk.”

Getting in a car the morning after a drinking session seems to be something a lot of people are willing to do, without thinking about the risks. More than a quarter, at 27%, of those surveyed said they do not consider how much they are drinking during an evening out when they know they will have to drive the following morning. And two fifths of people said even if they do not drive after drinking the night before, they have been a passenger of someone who has.

Admiral’s study shows that many people still believe they can lessen the effects of drinking by doing certain things such as drinking lots of water, sleeping for more than eight hours and drinking coffee.

But Roger Singer, managing director of Drink Driver Education, an independent training organisation which provides drink drive awareness courses, warned: “There is nothing you can do to speed up the rate at which alcohol leaves your system; it leaves at one unit per hour, nothing speeds this up, not sleep, caffeine, cold showers, food or anything else.”

That would mean if you drank six pints of beer (which is the equivalent of 14 units of alcohol), finishing your last pint at midnight, you would typically need to wait till 2pm the next day for the alcohol to have completely left your body. However even armed with this information, many drivers could still be in danger as Admiral’s research found that few people actually know how much one unit of alcohol is.  Only 20% knew it was the equivalent of 10ml of pure alcohol.

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