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Police warning over drink driving

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Police and crime news

Police are warning drivers in Cambridgeshire to make sure they are safe to drive the morning after going out in the festive season.

Throughout the Christmas period, many people are out celebrating with friends, family and work colleagues. While many know not to drive home after a night out drinking, far fewer know that they can still be over the drink drive limit the next morning, when they may be getting in their cars to drive to work.

The Cambridgeshire Road Policing Unit’s drink drive campaign runs throughout December and as part of that they will be conducting breathalyser checks round the clock – including during the morning rush hour.

This means there is a strong possibility of getting caught and arrested if you attempt to drive the morning after a night out drinking alcohol.

Chief Insp Richard Hann said: “While most drivers now know it’s a bad idea to get behind a wheel after night out drinking, many still forget just how long it takes for alcohol to leave their system.

“As a result they get in the car the next morning while they are still over the limit and it is still unsafe for them to drive. Any amount of alcohol in your system can affect your response times and ability to judge speeds and distances well while driving. You might think you have slept off the effects of the drink but haven’t and it’s still dangerous for you to drive.”

In general alcohol leaves the blood at the rate of about one unit per hour so if you stop drinking at 3am after consuming eight units (four pints of lager) you could still have three units of alcohol in your system at 8am the next day – enough to be over the drink drive limit.

However the rate that people metabolise alcohol varies from person to person, so even if you think you are ok, it is better to wait rather and be safe rather than drive and be sorry.

Enforcing the drink and drug driving law, particularly at this time of year, is a key tool for police in reducing the risk of death or injury on the roads.

The legal alcohol limit for driving is 80mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood but there is no failsafe guide to the amount of alcohol that a driver can safely consume. Any amount of alcohol affects driving ability.

Motorists found to be driving while under the influence of drink or drugs face a minimum of a 12-month disqualification from driving, as well as a fine and/or imprisonment. The offence of causing death by careless driving whilst under the influence of drink or drugs now carries a maximum penalty of 14 years’ imprisonment and a disqualification of at least two years.

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