Simon Best's blog: 7 June 2012 - Don't risk a BBQ booze drive ban
07 June 2012
Simon Best is chief executive of the Institute of Advanced Motorists
We're all well aware of the risks of drink-driving at Christmas, but drink-drive casualties actually peak in the summer.
When enjoying a leisurely lunchtime or evening barbeque with friends and family, the measures are likely to be larger and the drinks stronger than those served in a pub, and it's easy to get carried away.
Beware the quick drink after work. One pint with your colleagues in the sun might seem harmless but it can quickly turn into two, then three.
Get a taxi, train or walk - it'll cost much less than a drink-drive charge or accident. And ignore peer pressure. Your companions might think it's a good idea for you to drive them home, but if you've been drinking just say no. It's your licence at stake.
Driving with good intentions to a party, to a pub or to a restaurant and then just having a drink or two, puts more pressure on you to risk driving home, even if you're not sure whether you are below the limit.
You are likely to be breathalysed if you are involved in a collision, even if it is not your fault. Whether or not you think you're fit to drive, don't take the chance or somebody else's mistake might become your problem.
How much did you drink last night? A drinking session the night before could put you over the legal limit the next day.
A survey by Alcosense found that 51% of respondents who had been drinking the night before, underestimated the levels of alcohol still in their body the following morning.
Figures from the Department for Transport indicate that while the overall number of accidents involving drink driving has fallen over the past 20 years, the proportion of morning-after accidents rose from 7% in 1990 to 18% in 2010. Bear this in mind and make alternative transport plans for the next day - don't just risk it.
Many accidents also involve drunk pedestrians. Watch out for them when you're driving.
Summer or winter, if you drink, don't drive and if you drive, don't drink. And always refuse a lift from someone you know has been drinking.
To help drivers stay safe and enjoy their driving this summer, the IAM has a new website, drivingadvice.org.uk, with traffic updates, weather forecasts, and driving tips, including: driving abroad, cycling, coping with Olympic congestion, and loading the car for a long journey.
Follow BusinessCar on TWITTER.