Drink Driving - The Danger on the Road

By Ethan G Hampson

The vast majority of people would agree that driving while over the limit is never acceptable, and yet more than 10% of people admit to driving at some point in their lives thinking that they were over the limit. It is unlikely that they would have knowingly put themselves and other road users at risk - instead, they probably believed that the alcohol hadn't really affected them at all. The worrying thing is that because they got home safely that one time, they might be encouraged to do it again. It is this mistaken confidence that you can drive effectively even while over the limit that is the true danger of drink-driving.

The long cold and wet nights and string of Christmas parties brought on by the winter months means that at this time of year more people than ever drink and drive. While the number of random checks should hopefully curb the rise of drink-driving, it is advisable for everyone to be extra careful while using the roads during the holiday season.

Advertising campaigns have done a great job of making people aware of all the different consequences that can result from drink-driving. A driving ban can have implications that effect work and family life, while fines are also common and prison sentences are not unheard of. And this is assuming that no damage is done. If someone is injured as a result of drunk driving the sentences become much heavier. But many people find this pales in comparison to the overwhelming sense of guilt and shame.

It is not to excuse or belittle the role of drunk drivers when pedestrians are urged to exercise caution while out and about themselves. Don't drink to the point that you are wandering about in the middle of the road - this is never safe, but especially so at night. Equally, it is up to drivers to be aware of these extra risks, especially when driving in urban areas. There needn't be another reason not to drink and drive, but this would definitely be one.

Drinking is scientifically proven to slow your responses, impair your judgement and even affect your field of vision. If drink-driving was a risk only to the motorist some might consider arguing that it is the driver's personal decision. But the fact that a drunk driver puts the lives of so many innocent people at risks means there can be no room for viewing this behaviour with any sympathy.

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