The festive season is filled with fun, parties, and events. It is also a popular time for drink driving campaigns. This means your odds of being stopped can go up, just at the time you are most likely to be experiencing more celebrations that involve alcohol. The risks don’t end there, either. In addition to drink driving roadside tests, in the UK the police now also perform testing for drugs.
Have a Plan
If you know you’ll have holiday events to attend, have a transportation plan ahead of time. Keep in mind that busy holiday nights are likely to have longer wait times for taxis and other transportation. Be sure to include that in your planning. Make sure your vehicle is parked somewhere it can safely stay all night before your events begin. You don’t want to end up with your car in a towaway zone when you realize you’ve had a few too many pints.
More than You Think
Over the holidays it is particularly easy to lose track of how much you’ve had to drink. Wine with dinner, an open bar at the company office party, fruitcake soaked in rum, and other treats can quickly add up to too much to drive. If you enjoy drinking with meals or at parties, it’s probably best to assume you’ll need to make arrangements not to drive home. It’s better to plan now than to interrupt your fun or have to scramble to make arrangements once you’ve had too much.
Probably the trickiest thing related to holiday drinking is the day after. Most people are unaware how long alcohol and other drugs can remain in their bodies. After drinking at an evening event, they will falsely assume that they are safe to drive the next day. The remaining effects of alcohol in their bloodstreams is typically mistaken for a hangover, dehydration, or fatigue.
Over the last few years a number of local police departments have held drink driving campaigns focused on educating the public about the risks of morning after driving. Along with that has come an increase in roadside drink driving stops of drivers in the morning. You should expect those kind of stops to be much more common during the holiday season.
Because of the potential for still being legally intoxicated the next morning, it is important for you to have plans to make it to work (or wherever) the next morning without driving. There has even been a case of someone being convicted of drink driving while moving a car to a different parking space around the corner. If you haven’t made arrangements for your car and for transportation ahead of time, you might be tempted to drive a short distance which could lead you to a drink driving charge.
‘tis the Season
Remember that the police actively look for drink drivers year-round but intensify their searches around the holidays. The large number of holiday parties around Christmas and New Year’s Eve have resulted in more police resources being dedicated to identifying and prosecuting drink drivers. Don’t let too many drinks and a poor decision ruin your holidays and the year to come.