The Dangers of Drink/Drug DrivingNovember 24th, 2015
We all know the dangers of getting behind the wheel of a car after drinking alcohol or taking drugs, yet each year countless people are caught drink or drug driving. Drink driving is responsible for a staggering 1 in 6 deaths on UK roads. Many people needlessly lose their lives every year due to people not following the law and thinking they are ok to drive after consuming alcohol.
Evidence has shown that even a small amount of alcohol or drugs in your system can have a huge impact on the way you drive. Alcohol can affect you by causing you to have slower reaction times to different situations on the road, make stopping distances longer due to your slower reactions, as well as impairing your judgement in relation to speed and distances.
We’ve looked at some common areas where people are often caught drink or drug driving unaware and do not realise the risks involved in getting behind the wheel of their car.
I’ve only had a couple of drinks and feel sober; I’ll be fine to drive home.
Just half a pint of beer in your system can change the way you drive and perceive different situations on the road. Your coordination, reactions and judgement are all impaired by alcohol, so it’s never a good idea to drive, even if you ‘feel sober’. Alcohol also gives you a false sense of confidence, which in turn will make you take greater risks and make you think you are in control when you are not.
I’m not sure how many drinks I am allowed when I’m driving, or how strong my drink is.
Many drinks can contain far more alcohol than you would first think, and just one drink can push you over the drink driving limit. It is extremely difficult to work out how many drinks and how much alcohol you can consume before you are over the limit, so if in doubt, don’t have any at all. Your driving skills are affected by alcohol long before you reach the drink driving limit, so why take the risk?
I feel hungover but I have had plenty of sleep. I will be fine to drive after I’ve eaten and had a coffee.
There is no certain way of knowing when you will be sober after consuming a lot of alcohol the night before. Sleep, food or caffeine do not make you sober up any quicker, the alcohol simply has to leave your system. If you know you need to drive the next day, you should not consume more than a couple of drinks. 1 in 9 people who are caught drink driving are caught the morning after they have been drinking.
Smoking cannabis when driving is fine, it makes me concentrate more.
Cannabis has a huge effect on your ability to drive. It can cause problems with coordination and reactions, as well as making you feel drowsy. Concentrating more on the road does not counteract these effects. Alongside cannabis, other drugs such as speed, ecstasy or cocaine can impair your ability to drive. These drugs can make you jumpy, paranoid or confused, as well as having an effect on your confidence as a driver. You should never take drugs if you are planning on driving. 1 in 5 drivers who die in accidents are found to have illegal drugs in their body.
Considering the all too real risks of drink and drug driving, it seems ridiculous that so many people are willing to risk their life and the lives of others. Every week, 5 people are killed and 24 people seriously injured in drink driving accidents in the UK.
Brake (the road safety charity) is campaigning for a zero-tolerance to drink driving across the UK. Through their ‘not a drop, not a drag’ campaign, they want to get drivers to take a pledge to never drink or take drugs whilst driving. They are also calling for the government to introduce tougher laws and enforcement with relation to drink driving.
At CFG Law we have dealt with many serious and fatal accident claims as a result of road traffic accidents. We know just how devastating these accidents can be for all people involved. We are here to support you and your family at this difficult time, and can help you to get justice for your injuries or loss. Our compassionate solicitors are here every step of the way.
We also work closely with RoadPeace, the national charity for road crash victims. We are members of the RoadPeace Legal Panel, due to our expertise in helping those who have been bereaved or seriously injured after a car crash.
To speak to one of our specialist solicitors, call us today on 0800 612 8196. All enquiries are completely free with no obligation. Our solicitors can also visit you at home, to speak to you and your family in an environment you feel comfortable.