Swanswell urges drivers to think again about drinking during the Rugby World Cup

18 September 2015

With England set to kick off their Rugby World Cup campaign against Fiji this evening, national drug and alcohol recovery charity, Swanswell is urging fans to think again about drink-driving.

With evening fixtures taking place during weekdays throughout the six week tournament (18 September to 31 October), sports fans who wouldn’t normally drink on a weekday may be tempted to while watching the big game. And many will be unaware that they may still be over the limit the next morning.

If a driver had five pints of 5% lager (2.8 units each), it would take at least 16 hours for the alcohol to leave the body and for it to be safe to drive. Similarly, five medium glasses (175ml) of 13% wine (2.3 units each) would take at least 13 hours to clear the system.

By driving with alcohol in their system the morning after the big match, drivers are risking penalty points on their licence, a driving ban and even prison. Getting caught for drink-driving isn’t the worst thing that can happen either. In 2013, alcohol was involved in around 260 road deaths. 

As many as 17% of drink-driving offences take place the morning after heavy drinking and Swanswell believes education is the key to help people think again about drink-driving. Many people who’ve been on Swanswell’s Drink Impaired Drivers programme say they wish they had known more about drink-driving before they had offended.

The national recovery charity, which wants to achieve a society free from problem alcohol and drug misuse, is calling on the government to change the driving test for new drivers. Swanswell believes the theory test should include a drink-driving workshop. This would give motorists the information they need to make an informed decision about drink-driving, before it’s too late.

Swanswell’s Chief Executive Debbie Bannigan said; ‘Most people know that drinking and driving is not a good idea so the best way to stay safe is simply not to drink if you’re going to be driving. However, a lot of people don’t understand how long alcohol stays in their system, and that they can still be over the limit the next morning. So to really make sure you’re not going to get caught for drink-driving you also need to factor in how long it will take the alcohol to leave your body.’

She added; ‘Education is key to reducing drink-driving. Giving new and young drivers more information about the risks, and the harm, involved in drink driving as part of the theory test would make sure people have the facts they need before it’s too late.’

 

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