A new campaign by the Department of Transport’s road safety group has launched just in time for Christmas, making you think twice about having that second drink.

The hard-hitting campaign targets those who still think it’s okay to have ‘a couple’ of drinks before driving and shows how that second drink could double your chance of being in a fatal collision. However, the safest thing to do is to not drink any alcohol before driving.

The campaign’s videos show scenarios where someone might consider having two drinks before driving or choose to drive after drinking – and the deadly consequences that can occur. One features a man refusing to collect his wife from the train station as he’s had a second glass of wine, while another shows a junior office worker refusing a second drink from his boss after work.

Both men endure awkward outcomes, but they are far less severe than if they had got behind the wheel of their cars. Watch the two videos below:

In England, Wales and Northern Ireland, the legal alcohol limit for drivers is:

  • 35 microgrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres of breath
  • 80 milligrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood
  • 107 milligrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres of urine

In Scotland, the legal alcohol limit for drivers is lower at:

  • 22 microgrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres of breath
  • 50 milligrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood
  • 67 milligrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres of urine.

However, it is not possible to say how much alcohol you can drink and stay below the limit. The way alcohol affects you depends on your weight, age, sex and metabolism, the type and amount of alcohol you’re drinking, what you’ve eaten recently and your stress levels at the time.

It’s pretty much given that if you’re driving, it’s better to stick to soft drinks.

If you are convicted of drink-driving, including, you could face a minimum 12-month driving ban, a criminal record, a hefty fine, up to six months in prison and an endorsement on your licence for 11 years.

However, this doesn’t reflect the everyday consequences of being caught drink driving which can increase in car insurance costs, loss of job, trouble getting in to countries like the USA, the shame of having a criminal record and the loss of independence.

The Institute of Advanced Motorists calculate that a drink-drive conviction could cost between £20,000 and £50,000 as a result of fines, solicitors fees, increase in car insurance and loss of job. In all, a very costly drink which can easily be turned down.

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