Leave your car at home this St Patrick’s Day: tips from IAM RoadSmart

With St Patrick's Day just around the corner it's likely people will be out celebrating and alcohol will be flowing. Drivers and riders are aware of the serious dangers and consequences alcohol can have; not only to themselves but people around them.
With nearly 4,000 people found to be drink-driving or riding when involved in reported accidents in 20181 and an estimated 8,700 people killed or injured where at least one driver was over the drink-drive limit2, it shows that drivers and riders must make a choice - whether they have a drink or take out their car or bike.
Richard Gladman, head of driving and riding standards at IAM RoadSmart, is on hand with some useful tips to remember this St Patrick's Day.
  • An average-strength pint of beer (four per cent) can take at least two hours to leave your bloodstream. This means four pints of average-strength beer would take more than eight hours to leave your system.
  • 1 in 9 drivers who fail a breath test are caught the morning after. Think carefully about how much you plan on drinking beforehand as overindulging can have severe consequences the next morning.
  • Don't forget the legal limit in England and Wales is 80mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood, while the limit in Scotland is lower at 50mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood. So even if you think you're under the limit you may be well over – drink with caution, stay safe and leave the car at home.
  • Plan your evening around public transport or hiring taxis. If you do drive to your destination and leave the car there, make sure you don't return to it at the end of the evening. It may take a lot to convince a court you were not going to drive.
  • If you have a willing volunteer to be the designated driver don't forget to reward them. A free meal or soft drinks may go down well - and remember they are driving, so no insistence on 'one will not do any harm'.
Richard said: "An old-fashioned celebration where we go out may be rare with our busy lives, so if you are going to make a night of it then it's vital to plan the journey carefully. If you are intending to have an alcoholic drink, give up driving or riding for the evening.
"Remember to include the next day in your abstinence from the car and bike keys if it was a heavy night. Make sure the night is memorable for the fun and good company, and not for the ride home from the police station."
IAM RoadSmart run many rehabilitation courses around the country to offer education to those that have been convicted, whilst proactively informing drivers of the legal limits around drink driving and how consumption can affect a driver's ability to drive safely. Find out more by visiting www.iamroadsmart.com

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