Drivers warned over Christmas drink-driving
Drivers are being warned of the dangers of drink driving, after recent statistics showed an increase in drink driving deaths for the first time in 30 years.
In 2011, the number of people killed in drink driving accidents increased by 12 per cent, and motoring group the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) says it is worried the effects of drink driving are losing their stigma.
The availability of 'beat the breathalyser' pills and myths such as being able to suck on a penny to trick a breathalyser could be threatening other road users this Christmas.
IAM chief examiner Peter Rodger said: "This time of year brings with it brandy pudding, mulled wine and Christmas parties. If you're heading out for a few drinks, make sure you have planned your journey home before you set off."
The IAM, concerned about the disproportionate amount of younger drink drivers on the road, has introduced a set of guidelines for drivers this Christmas - even for those who are younger.
Rodger said: "A swift couple after work or a glass of wine with the staff lunch may seem harmless, but could have serious consequences if you get behind the wheel. It is not only about your safety, but the safety of other road users too. It's not worth the risk, so choose one or the other - to drink or to drive.
Mike McAdam, founder of drink drive campaign 'Don't be that someone', said: "It's important that people of all ages, including 14-18 year olds, are fully aware about the dangers and serious consequences drink driving can have on individuals, families and whole communities."
Advice includes not calculating how much you have consumed because it is impossible to work out whether or not you have been tipped over the drink drive limit.
For example, drinks poured at home can often be much larger than those poured at pubs, leading to potential accidental drink driving situations.
Drivers are also being warned that drink driving can affect people's car insurance quotes, with a number of companies across the nation confirming that they'll refuse to insure people that have a previous conviction for drink driving.
People convicted of drink driving offences that are looking for insurance though will be able to find companies willing to insure them, though it's likely that their premiums will cost more money than they typically would before the driver's conviction.
One common factor that all insurance companies will ask people is whether or not they've had any convictions, claims or endorsements over the last five years. If previously convicted and five years have passed, then their car insurance quotes should return to a more affordable level.
The rule of thumb though is this. Get caught drink driving and expect insurance premiums to skyrocket when looking for a quote.