Think Before They Drink!
The festive period is all about having a good time. However, with an increased number of people eating out or going for a drink, the temptation to drink and drive is heightened at this time of year.
According to Brake, the road safety charity, drink driving is still one of the biggest killers on UK roads. One way to keep everyone safe – and happy – this Christmas is to help drivers opt for the safe option: zero alcohol for designated drivers. “Even very small amounts of alcohol affect your driving,” said Jack Kushner, spokesperson for Brake. “That’s why the only safe amount to drink if you’re driving is nothing at all – not a drop.”
What to do
•Stock a variety of alcohol-free beers, wine and G&T’s and make them readily available and easy for customers to see and order.
•Have the number of a local taxi firm clearly displayed behind the bar or at the till. Offer to phone customers a taxi. In some cases taxi firms are happy to install a free phone into an establishment.
•Go the extra mile and offer a free taxi service for your customers. The Millstone Hare within the grounds of Dallas Polo Club in Southam, Warwickshire offers customers who live in a five mile radius of the pub a free taxi home as long as the group orders at least four main meals or two main meals with a starter or dessert.
•If you have a car park or ample street parking round your establishment then let customers know you are happy for them to leave their car overnight – as long as it doesn’t affect the neighbours.
•Have individual breath alcohol detector tests for sale on the bar or at the till that can detect the amount of alcohol still in a person’s blood. The simple, easy-to-use test gives the user an accurate result in less than five minutes. The process involves the user blowing for 12 seconds into a tube and then comparing the test against the colour scale. If users are still over the limit and therefore unfit to drive it will turn aqua (green/blue or blue/green), however if the colour remains yellow or a pale yellow then you are under the limit and fit to drive.
•Contact your drink suppliers and drink brands to see if they are launching, or supporting, any anti-drink driving campaigns or zero-alcohol drinks which you can help to promote through POS material, social media and in-house.
•Display the THINK! posters around your establishment that are available to order free of charge from https://public.shop.dft.gov.uk
The day after
A big problem at Christmas is day after drink driving, which can be just as harmful as drinking the night before. Brakes recommends that people who need to drive the next day should limit themselves to one or two drinks the night before. However, to check if you are fit to drive the next morning take Brake’s morning-after calculator to be safe and sure at brake.org.uk
The penalties of drink driving
Anyone caught over the legal alcohol limit when driving will be banned from driving for at least 12 months, and fined up to £5,000. You can also be given between three and 11 penalty driving points and a prison sentence of up to six months. Imprisonment, the period of disqualification, size of fine and penalty points depends on the seriousness of the offence. If you’re caught drink driving more than once in a 10-year period, you’ll be banned for at least three years.