ONE in five Yorkshire motorists have driven the morning after a night of heavy driving - even when they thought they might have been over the limit.
Almost half admit to using a fried breakfast, fruit juice or drinking lots of water to try to reduce the level of alcohol in their blood the morning after, a survey at the motoring organisation AA and Populus revealed.
The worrying results come as police forces across the region launch their anti-drink driving campaigns as the festive season approaches. Driving the morning after is also one of themes in South Yorkshire Police’s ‘No Regrets’ Christmas drinking campaign, which launched yesterday.
It features stark posters spelling out the consequences of alcohol-related crimes which peak at this time of year, including anti-social behaviour, domestic abuse, sexual assault and drink driving.
Supt Colin McFarlane, force lead for antisocial behaviour, said: “We don’t want to spoil the party spirit but officers will take action if you commit anti-social behaviour to ensure that everyone can enjoy a safe Christmas. We have a sack load of powers at our disposal and a number of sanctions for offenders to give something back to their communities, from an on-the-spot fine to a stint of community service. ”
In West Yorkshire, 189 people were caught over the limit during last year’s festive drink driving campaign, with the most common age for those caught between 25 and 34.
This year, the force is revealing the age, gender and home town of each suspect caught, along with details of the offence, in attempt to highlight the “significant danger” and the long-reaching consequences of a drink or drug-driving conviction.
Humberside Police are taking a similar approach, and last week publicised the case of a Bridlington driver who was stopped the morning after a night out and was found to be over the limit. Last year, there were almost 150 injuries and two deaths due to drink driving in the force area.
In North Yorkshire, 137 people were injured in collisions involving a driver or rider whose ability to drive was impaired by alcohol in 2013. Deputy Chief Constable Tim Madgwick, chair of 95 Alive, York and North Yorkshire’s road safety partnership, said: “Anyone who is arrested and found to be over the drink drive limit will quickly find themselves in court and without a driving licence. This can have life changing consequences for the families of both victims and offenders.”
The AA poll showed that half of Yorkshire revellers agreed on a designated driver before heading out for a night drinking, which AA president Edmund King said was “encouraging.”
However, it was still important to consider arrangements for the morning after, he said.
“Alcohol levels in the body can still mean that drivers are over the limit the following morning and we want to ensure that people are fully aware of this when they are making the decision whether or not to get behind the wheel,” he added.