The dangers of drink and drug driving

With our years of experience, the specialist motoring defence team at Rothera Sharp know all too well how easy it can be for drivers to end up on the wrong side of the law over the festive period.

The combination of bad weather, dark nights and busy roads can make driving conditions more hazardous. When you throw into the mix drivers who are under the influence, it can be a disaster waiting to happen.

We have all seen the adverts warning against the dangers of drink driving. Socially, the idea of drinking a few beers in the pub and getting in your car has become less acceptable. There is however, an ever increasing number of drivers who are being prosecuted having been breathalysed the next day. Many underestimate the time it can take for alcohol to dissipate from your system. It is not a defence to have had 8 hours’ sleep and a pint of water before bed! If you fail a breath test, even the following morning, the sentence will be a minimum 12 month disqualification. If you are unlucky enough to have an accident, even if it wasn’t your fault, it could increase the sentence dramatically.

Our advice?? Plan your journeys in advance. If you intend to leave your car at work and collect it the next day, ensure you won’t be tempted to drive when the taxi queue is miles long. Similarly, if you have to travel the next day, play it safe and use public transport or take it very lightly when drinking if you must drive the next day.

It is has also been just over a year since the new drug drive laws were introduced. It is an offence to have a level of any number of illicit and prescribed drugs in your system. Although it is also a criminal offence to possess drugs such as cocaine, cannabis and ecstasy, the party season can see an increase in the consumption of these substances. The purity and strengths of these drugs are much more difficult to gauge meaning that it is impossible to predict when they will have left the blood stream. We see drivers who fail drug tests some 3 days after consumption despite feeling quite normal and passed any stages of their hangover. A prosecution for drug driving also carries a minimum 12 month disqualification meaning drivers lose their licence and often their ability to work.

Stay safe this party season and if you are in any doubt about your ability to drive legally, take another option. If you are unfortunate enough to be prosecuted, call our motoring offence solicitors on 0800 088 6153