For many small businesses, a fuel card is a very wise decision when it comes to saving money and avoiding paperwork. Around this time of the year, it’s also important that we look out for each other, too. This means making sure everyone stays safe on the road. Drink driving has always been a hot topic, but morning after driving is now being discussed by many. Probably because the number of drivers that are getting stopped first thing in the morning is rising.

The science bit

How many of us understand the potential dangers of driving the morning after, especially after only a few hours sleep? Drinkaware, the UK’s alcohol industry’s responsibility and awareness trust, points out that coffee and cold showers don’t eliminate alcohol in any way. In fact, alcohol is only removed from the bloodstream at around one unit per hour, depending on your age, size, weight and gender. Nothing you can do can speed this up.

The sobering facts

The THINK! Campaign found that an estimated 740 drink drive accidents took place in the morning, with around 5,500 people failing breath tests between 6am and midday every year*.

A significant 58% who had four or more drinks on a night out sometimes take the risk and drive the following morning, with many unaware they are actually over the limit. Many believed that drinking water, sleeping it off or eating a large meal would get them under the limit. Not true!

Suzette Davenport (National Police Chiefs’ Council) commented, “Thinking ahead about getting home or to work the following morning is crucial”.

So can we still party?

You don’t have to go tee-total through the whole festive period. You just need to party smarter.

Start with ABV. Go for drinks with sensible concentrations of alcohol – say 3.4% - or if you’re a wine drinker, opt for smaller glasses and keep it under 12%. Alternate drinks with pints of water, and quit the drinking long before you go to bed. This will give your body plenty of time to get the booze out of your system.

Know your limits

The government guidelines recommend no more than 3-4 units per day for men and 2-3 units per day for women. That’s equivalent to 1.5 pints at 4% ABV for men and 1 pint at 4% ABV for women.

A second drink can double your chance of being in a fatal collision. So ‘just one more’ is a big no-no. Sarah Sillars, Institute of Advanced Motorists, says: “Many of the people we work with on our drink-drive rehabilitation courses aren’t repeat offenders, many are drivers who thought that a second one couldn’t hurt”.

So drink sensibly, especially if you’re driving the next morning. Or don’t drink at all.

Surely, the best way to avoid that second drink is not to have the first one.

And if you’re unsure about the night ahead, make a plan so you don’t put yourself or others in danger. The train is an excellent alternative and if you book in advance online through www.redspottedhanky.com you’ll pick up a great deal and stay safe over the festive period.

None for the road? What are your thoughts? Let us know on Twitter or LinkedIn.

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