When I came into work this weekend, there were several people who had been arrested for various offences to deal with; among them were 4 people who had been arrested for driving with excess alcohol.
In one case, a man had been found late at night by a passing motorist after crashing his car into a ditch in a rural part of Hampshire.
This man was lucky to be alive; not only had he placed himself in danger, but having driven, he had also placed other road users in danger too.
The location of the crash is one where there is not much passing traffic, especially late at night. He was fortunate not to have sustained serious injuries, or in the cold weather, hypothermia is something which can be serious.
This timely article is to remind people of the dangers of drink-driving, especially during the festive period, when many people socialise and are tempted to join in the festivities and take the risk that they will get caught.
Most people fear losing their licence and the implications of this, but still they will take risks. However, this is quite a selfish view because the risk to their own life, passengers and other road users is the primary danger, which seldom features in people`s thoughts.
The police are more pro-active this time of year and there is a much higher chance of either getting caught, or being involved in an accident and caught in this way.
The majority of road users are responsible, however, there are those who are not.
Clearly, if you drink-drive yourself, then you bear the responsibility, however, there are people who will get into a car with a friend who is over the limit and place themselves in great danger in doing so, therefore this is equally important.
A common thing that people say when stopped is that they “felt okay” or “I only had a couple”.
This is not the point; any amount of alcohol will reduce you capability to drive and it is pointless trying to judge how much you can drink before you are either not safe to drive, or might be over the limit. The only safe and assured option is not to drink at all – you simply can`t go wrong with this.
Losing your driving licence has a `snowball` effect where it is not just the period of time where you are inconvenienced – there is the cost where insurance increases. You may not be able to get to work, or you rely on driving in your work, therefore you will lose your job.
The loss of a job will mean that you cannot afford rent or the mortgage payments, therefore you could lose your home too, where your whole family will suffer as a result.
There are huge implications and they all stem from one bad decision to drink and drive, which is avoidable.
Please think of the consequences. Also, please speak to your family, especially the younger members, who are generally more sociable over the festive period and are at greater risk, especially when accepting lifts from a friend who should not be driving.
I wish all readers a very happy and safe Christmas and New Year.