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‘You Can’t Hide from the Summertime Blues’

This years summer anti drink drive campaign has begun in earnest and increased States and Honorary Police road checks will take place until the end of July.

The campaign is aimed at raising awareness in the public’s mind that it isn’t just December that they need to think about making alternative arrangements when going out for a drink.

Last year 44% of those convicted for drink driving were caught between May and the end of August, in other words it seems that more people are taking the risk during the summer months.

Probably most of us are invited to more parties, barbeques or just more likely to go out for a social drink at this time of year and unfortunately more people take the risk of driving or riding home.

The legal limit

There is of course a legal limit that those stopped in Police checks must be under if they don’t want to be prosecuted for the offence.  It’s really important to realise, that even if you are under the limit, it doesn’t necessarily mean you are safe to drive even though you might feel fine to drive.  It’s also vital to realise that because we are all physically a little bit different, the rate that a unit of alcohol is processed varies from person to person.  One person might drink two pints of beer and pass the breathalyser and another won’t pass.  The only safe thing to do if you are driving is don’t drink any alcohol at all.

These are the limits that are presently laid down in Jersey Law. .

35 micrograms of alcohol per 100 millilitres of breath

80 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood

107 milligrams of alcohol in 100 millilitres of urine

Please also remember, the limit in Europe is lower than this and Scotland has recently lowered their drink drive limit to mirror Europe’s position.

Never be persuaded by anything you hear from someone else who says something like, “you’ll be fine as long as you don’t have more than two pints”.  Not only might you still blow over the legal limit, you almost certainly won’t be safe to drive either.

The Morning After

If you go out partying, be really careful the next morning.  It’s really surprising how long it can take to eliminate all the alcohol your drank the night before from your body.  There is no way of speeding the process up, drinking water doesn’t help, black coffee or food or any other thing you may have heard of.  Time is the only remedy.

For the average body, it takes roughly an hour to process a unit of alcohol, this is only a guide, it could take longer.  So, if you consumed in the region of 14 units of alcohol the previous night and you went to bed at say 2am, you will definitely still be over the legal limit the following day.  It’s quite conceivable that your body won’t have eliminated all of the alcohol from your body until late afternoon that day.

Our advice is, if you have been out partying and you have drunk heavily, plan on not driving the next day, make some alternative arrangements to get to work or maybe consider taking the day off or if you are able work from home perhaps.

The Consequences of being Caught Drink Driving

If you’re caught and prosecuted as a drink driver, the consequences are severe.

  • You will have a criminal record
  • You will lose you licence for at least a year
  • You will receive a fine of up to £2000 for a first offence
  • You will have to re-sit your driving test once your period of disqualification expires
  • You may lose your job
  • Your insurance premium is likely to be higher
  • You will have difficulty hiring a car for the next ten years

When can you be Breath Tested

You can be breath tested at any time during the day or night

  • You will be breath tested if you are involved in a collision, even if you are not at fault
  • You will be tested if a Police Officer suspects you are drink driving and that you may be over the legal limit
  • You can also be tested if you are ‘attempting to drive a vehicle’ this might mean you are trying to start the engine for instance
  • You can also be tested if you are ‘in charge of a vehicle’ this means the driver is in the vehicle, even if it’s not moving
  • You can also be tested if you commit a moving traffic offence such as not wearing your seat belt, speeding, driving through a red traffic light or failing to stop following a collision

If you are unable to provide a breath test, you will be offered the alternative of providing a blood test for analysis.

Download a copy of the poster