Have the arguments started in your house yet over who is driving and who gets to drink when you go out to Christmas parties and social events? Working out (fighting over) who gets to be the designated driver is a really important part of any night out, more so than choosing where to go, who to go out with, what to wear and how much to pay the babysitter if you need one.
Many people will go with the option of getting a taxi, a bus or roping in someone who isn’t going out with them. It’s important to know before going out, how you will be getting home. Not arranging this before can lead to the temptation to drive when over the drink drive limit – because you’ve only had a couple of pints, you don’t feel drunk or you don’t fancy being stuck out in the cold.
None of those are reasons to drive after drinking. The Co-operative Insurance team shared a scary statistic with me this week, 744,000 drivers potentially plan to drive whilst over the legal limit this year around Christmas time.
Some of main excuses used for driving whilst under the influence from these people include, ‘It won’t harm anyone’, ‘A taxi is too expensive’, and ‘I don’t want to walk home’. When you drink, you don’t need to be fall down drunk for it to slow down your reactions, or for your judgement to be impaired.
When I was 11 two of my cousins who were brothers were killed in a car accident whilst being driven by a friend, I don’t know if their friend was drunk or the exact details of how it happened, as my family were all so devastated, I was too young to really ask and it’s not something we talk about any more. I can’t even imagine what their friend also went through.
Car accidents aren’t just caused by drink driving, but drinking and getting behind the wheel make it more likely. I can still remember their funeral…it was the first one I had ever been to, a joint one for two brothers who were always really close, who were always full of laughter and cheek.
That funeral was horrendous, it’s hard when people die so young, so much before their time and so suddenly. It affected our family for a long time. It isn’t something anyone should ever have to go through, so if you can do something to avoid the risk of being the reason for someone else’s grief, that takes such little effort such as getting a taxi home or choosing your designated driver in advance please do it.
If the risk of harming someone else isn’t enough to give you pause for thought, then The Co-op Insurance team have informed me what the other consequences of drink driving can be..
According to the DVLA, those caught driving or attempting to drive whilst over the legal limit or unfit through drink can receive: 6 months’ imprisonment, an unlimited fine, a driving ban for at least 1 year (3 years if convicted twice in 10 years).
The Co-operative Insurance team are running a campaign this Christmas, to get more people choosing a designated driver or getting a taxi, rather than risk drink driving. Personally if I am driving I will very rarely touch a drop of alcohol, so Si and I take it in turns to drive…although I’m pretty sure it’s my turn more often than his.
If you want to save arguments (I am definitely using it this year) about who drives between you and your partner or your group of friends, then a fun way to do it is with the Co-operative Insurance’s Designated Driver Finder. You can click on the image below to try it out.
It doesn’t only randomly select who is driving, but it also gives you a treat that the non drivers should reward the driver with. If you already know you’re going to be the driver, it might be worth having a play still to see what your friends or parent should reward you with!
The only trouble is, that even sneaking the children’s names in to avoid getting chosen, here’s what happened for me after spinning the wheel.
I won’t tell Simon if you don’t – stay safe everyone and have a brilliant Christmas, Nadelik Lowen (Merry Christmas),
*Sponsored post in collaboration with The Co-operative Insurance, but all thoughts and opinions as ever are my own***To comment on this blog you do not need to leave your name, email address or website if you don't wish to. Any information entered will remain private and will not be shared with anyone other than the site owner.