SWEENEY Miller Solicitors is urging drivers in the North East to stay safe on the roads this festive season in the wake of an AA survey highlighting the dangers of driving the day after the night before.
The survey shows that one in five motorists have driven the day after a heavy drinking session, despite knowing they could be over the drink-drive limit.
Commissioned by the Automobile Association, the poll questioned almost 20,000 drivers and found 29% of those aged 25 to 34 years – and 20% of all respondents – admitted to possible drink driving the following morning.
And Sweeney Miller partner, Paul Miller, said: “There are probably still many people who believe that as long as you’ve had a good sleep after a night out, you’re safe to drive the next day.
“This valuable survey shows that’s often not the case and we’re hoping that more people than ever before in our region will hear this Christmas safety message, of keeping an eye on this often overlooked aspect of potential drink driving.
“In an ideal world, everyone would pay heed to this survey and keep themselves and others. The consequences of drink driving can be life changing.”
Edmund King OBE, president of the AA, revealed that 20% of those prosecuted for drink-driving have been stopped by police between 6am and midday.
And date from the Government’s THINK! campaign showed in 2013 an estimated 740 reported drink drive collisions took place in the morning, and around 5,500 people fail breath tests before midday every year.
The THINK! research also found more than half of 800 drivers surveyed would have four or more drinks on a night out, and still sometimes take a risk by driving the next morning.
But of that figure, only a third were aware they could still be over the limit.
Edmund King also told the BBC: “I think people have kind of got the message when they go out in the evening so they’ll book a taxi or they’ll have a designated driver and they’ll be responsible.
“But once they get home, they go to bed, they have some sleep, and then they kind of think well I’m OK, it’s the next day.
“So they’re not equating the next day with what they’ve actually drunk and the problem is if you really have had a lot to drink, your body can only really break down one unit of alcohol per hour.
“It is relatively easy to be over the limit the next day.”