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Road Safety


You don’t have to feel drunk to be a drink driver

Who Drinks and Drives?​

Although the vast majority of us are decent people who believe ourselves to be safe and sensible behind the wheel, the sad fact is that there are still too many of us who think it’s ok to have ‘just a couple’ and then drive. Too many of us who get caught up in the festive spirit and, despite our best intentions, end up having a second drink through ‘fear of missing out on the fun’ or because persistent friends and colleagues insist that another one ‘won’t do any harm’.

Will a couple of drinks really affect me?

Any amount of alcohol consumption affects your driving ability. It creates a feeling of over confidence, making judging speed and distance more difficult. It also slows reactions meaning that it will take you longer to stop. Drinking ‘a couple’ and then driving is NOT ok. You can’t justify it; you can’t pretend that it’s ok and you can’t pretend that this still makes you a safe, sensible driver. If you drink alcohol and then drive, that alcohol WILL cause some level of impairment. You’re not one of the safe and sensible majority, you are a drink driver who might potentially wreck your own life and the lives of others.

How to avoid peer pressure

If you feel pressured by others to drink when you’re supposed to be driving, then consider whether these people are really your friends. Will they support you when you can’t find a job because you’ve got a criminal record, when your relationship has broken down or you’ve lost your home due to loss of earnings? If you really can’t face standing up to them, then make an excuse; tell them it’s a rum and coke in your glass instead of just a soft drink and discretely disappear when they’re offering to get then next round in.

Find out more about the Department for Transport’s annual Christmas Drink Drive campaign.

Fancy a blast from the past? View some old Drink Drive adverts:


​​The Morning After

It’s also worth thinking about whether you’ll still be over the limit the ‘morning after’. On average it takes around one hour per unit for alcohol to pass through your body, so, if you’ve been drinking the night before, you could end up being over the limit the next morning as you go about your everyday activities such as driving to work, doing the school run, popping to the shops or going to see friends.

Use this free 'morning after calculator’ to give you a rough idea of how long it might take for your body to process alcohol and for you to be legally safe to drive after a drinking session.


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