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What are the consequences of drink driving this Christmas?

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Approximately 85,000 people are convicted of drink driving related offences each year in England and Wales alone1. With the festive period in full swing, it’s important you remember that one reckless decision could end up costing a lot more than your license.

Drink driving FAQs

Why is drink driving so common at Christmas?

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It’s no surprise that alcohol consumption increases dramatically around the festive period. In 2021 shoppers spent £2.2bn on drinks during the festive period, a rise of 10.7% on 20192. More people on the roads at Christmas, paired with more people drinking around this time poses a greater risk of drink drivers getting behind the wheel.

What are the consequences of drink driving?

If you get behind the wheel of a car when intoxicated, you risk:

  • Slow reaction times
  • Blurred vision
  • Drowsiness
  • Impaired judgement of distance and speed

Each of the above factors increases your chances of an accident.

If you’re caught driving whilst drunk and over the drink drive limit, you face six months in prison in addition to losing your license and paying an unlimited fine. You also risk these same penalties if you refuse to take a breathalyser test when asked. If your drink driving results in the death of another person, you can expect a prison sentence of at least 14 years, a two- year driving ban, in addition to 11 penalty points which will remain on your license. 

Aside from the legal implications that come with drunk driving, there is also a real possibility that you may seriously injure or even kill yourself or someone else. In fact, an estimated 7,800 people were killed or injured in drink driving accidents in the UK in 20193.

If you’re concerned about your drinking and believe you may be a few steps away from getting behind the wheel, call us today and let us get you the help you need. We can get you onto an alcohol detox program as soon as possible. Don’t delay, you could be risking your life.

How much is too much?

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‘Binge drinking’ is a term often used to describe drinking to excess in one session. However, while many probably interpret this to mean 10 or more drinks, this isn’t the case. For women, binge drinking is four or more drinks in the space of a few hours. For men, five drinks or more in one occasion is considered binge drinking.  

Each person processes alcohol differently, so there’s no real way of knowing whether one more pint or another glass of wine will take you over the limit. Rather than risk being caught, or getting injured, it’s best not to take that chance. If you’ve been drinking, find an alternative way to get home, and if that’s not possible, then skip the alcohol this time.

How can you avoid drink driving?

Pre-Christmas get-togethers and work functions usually mean the drinks will be flowing. To ensure you don’t get caught out unprepared, it’s good to have a plan.

Designated driver

If you’re going out with a group of people, decide who’s going to be the designated driver and make sure this person stays sober. Take turns driving to different events to make it fair!

Alcohol-free drinks

If it’s your turn to be the designated driver, why not try alcohol-free alternatives if you still want to get involved with the festivities? There are many alternatives available now, from mocktails and great alcohol-free beer to non-alcoholic wines. This way, you also won’t have to deal with a hangover when you wake up!

Public transport

Public transport can be pretty busy around the Christmas period, but if you plan ahead of time, you can avoid the rush. Check bus and train schedules if you’re in the centre of town or look for Ubers near you if you’re not sure what time you’ll be heading home. If you’re relying on a taxi app, make sure your phone is charged before you go out.

How Which Rehab can help

If you find it hard to avoid having a drink, even when you know you’re driving later you might need to accept that you have an alcohol problem. Alcoholism is a serious illness that can destroy lives if left untreated. Don’t be put off if you’re not sure which type of treatment you require.

At Which Rehab, our job is to offer you the best advice when it comes to choosing the right treatment path for you. Whether you decide to go for an alcohol detox in London or alcohol rehab in the surrounding areas it’s never too late to seek help.

Don’t risk it this Christmas. If you think you might be in trouble, call us today and begin your journey to a life free from alcohol.


1. Drink Driving – Drink Driving in the UK

2. Convenience Store – Nine things you need to know about Christmas Alcohol

3. Convenience Store – Nine things you need to know about Christmas Alcohol