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New Year's Day driving warning


By Simon O'Hare

New Year's Eve drinkers are being warned they could potentially be over the drink driving limit for the whole of New Year's Day.

Around 21 per cent of people intend to drink at least 10 units of alcohol on New Year's Eve, an AA survey showed.

This means they could still be over the limit by midday on 1 January.

The poll of over 21,000 drivers also revealed that 2 per cent plan to drink to such an extent they risk being over the limit as late as 10pm on New Year's Day.

More than one in 10 drivers aged 18-34 indicated they will drink enough to mean they are still over the limit by 6pm the following day.

Regional differences in New Year drinking habits

The survey also uncovered regional differences in people's New Year drinking habits, with motorists in Northern Ireland the most likely to say they will be avoiding alcohol altogether.

Drivers in London and the North East of England, on the other hand, look set to drink more than revellers in other areas on New Year's Eve.

A separate AA survey earlier in the year revealed most drivers do not know when it is safe to drive the day after a drinking session.

Jim Kirkwood, managing director of the AA Driving School, has warned drivers about the dangers of driving the day after drinking alcohol.

Over the limit the morning after drinking

He 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.

"If you are going to drink, don't even consider driving, and think very carefully about whether you are really safe to drive in the morning.

"It can have devastating effects on your life and on the lives of other people."

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