Drink Driving – The Morning After the Night Before.

In a recent conversation, I was reminded of an incident that I attended while still in ‘the job’. If I my memory serves me well, it was the weekend of the Grand Prix at Silverstone. I can’t remember the year, other than the fact that it wasn’t raining for a change.

silvsepiaI was sent to the scene of a road accident with my colleague just outside Silverstone village. This was of course before they built the dual carriageway and before some guy called ‘Bernie’ remarked that the British Grand Prix was nothing more than a village fete!

But I digress, having made our way through the maze of stationary traffic we arrived at what we would call a minor ‘damage only’ collision. Car 1 pulls out of junction, into path of car 2 and a collision occurs, as the report would read. Having spoken to both parties, we required a breath test from both drivers. The driver who caused the collision was fine and provided a negative breath test, but unfortunately the other driver provided a positive breath test. This was about 9 am in the morning and he was twice the legal limit. Needless to say he was taken to the police station where he provided another positive sample, and where he stayed until he was sober.

When he was asked how much he had had to drink he replied to the effect that he had been camping at Silverstone, ready for the GP. His family and friends had a barbeque on the previous night and everyone had been drinking all day and most of the night. He finished drinking around 4am before going to bed. He got up about 7.30/8am to find a store to get some supplies and feeling ‘fine’ he jumped in his car to forage for his bread and milk. The result of his actions meant that he missed the Grand Prix, lost his his driving licence, was given a heavy fine and a 12 month disqualification, and his £200 ticket for the race.

Drink Driving – The Moral of the Story

Why am I telling you all this. Well, the moral of this story is if you go out on ‘the razz’ the night before and have a skinfull, just because you feel fine the next morning, does not mean to say that you are fit to drive. Remember that the body disposes of alcohol at a rate of 15% or 1 unit per hour, thats half a pint of beer or a small glass of wine, or if you want to be scientific about it, 10 millilitres of pure alcohol. So the guy that I arrested having been drinking all day and not finishing till 4am, would never be under the limit by 8am. And it would be foolish for anyone to think that they would be capable of operating a motor vehicle safely after that short space of time.

Imagine then that this guy went to work in this state. What would you think? What if he worked in a safety critical organisation, or drove a fork lift truck for example. What would you think? If he ‘barfed’ all over your desk, what would you think? What if you had to increase your workload to cover for him while he sobered up. What would you think?

All I ask you to do is take responsibility for yourself and if you are working or intend to drive the following day think about how much you drink the night before, because the morning after the night before might just be an unexpected nightmare.

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