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New Year drink-drive warning for revellers

Tue, 31 Dec 2013

SOME revellers will drink so much to see in the New Year that they might be over the legal driving limit for nearly all of January 1, the AA has warned.

As many as 21% of people plan to drink at least 10 units of alcohol at New Year's Eve celebrations, potentially putting them still over the limit by 12 noon on New Year's Day.

And the AA/Populus survey of more than 21,000 drivers also revealed that 2% would drink to such an extent that they risked being over the limit as late as 10pm on New Year's Day.

Of drivers aged 18-34, as many as 13% said they would knock back enough to still put them over the limit by 6pm on January 1, while drivers in Northern Ireland were most likely to say they would not be drinking at all.

Drivers in London and the North East of England were most likely to drink the most on New Year's Eve.

A separate AA/Populus survey earlier this year showed that 56% of drivers did not know when it was safe to get behind the wheel the morning after drinking.

Also, police figures showed that in 2011 more people failed breath tests between the hours of 6am and 11am than during the hour before or after midnight.

Jim Kirkwood, managing director of the AA Driving School, said: "Knowledge about the risks of drink-driving is generally fairly good, but this is not the case when it comes to the risk of drivers still being over the limit the morning after drinking.

"The best advice we can give is to avoid excessive drinking if you know you need to drive the following day."

A Department for Transport spokeswoman said: "Even if you look and feel sober the morning after drinking, your body may still be way over the limit.

“If caught, you'll get a minimum 12-month driving ban, a criminal record, and you could even end up in jail.”

By Peter Woodman, Press Association Transport Correspondent