Wayne Rooney may be the latest celebrity to join the 85,000 people convicted of drink driving every year in England and Wales alone.
After a night at the pub and a cocktail bar he was pulled over by the police and is scheduled for a hearing on the 18th September. Without putting too much spotlight on Rooney (I don’t watch enough football to do that), I thought I might try to work out why he did it.
If your school ever took you to a “Safe Drive, Stay Alive” event, you will probably have spent most of the day struggling to remember if there was any good in the world. Thousands of children attend, take a seat and watch a number of videos mostly involving serious injury and death. Then you get introduced first hand to the families of those who were victims of reckless driving.
When you leave the building, the sun on your face feels way too happy for the occasion.
Whether in school or in the adverts before a film at the cinema, we are told again and again and again: Don’t drink and drive.
Yet every year, young drivers, mostly male, continue to kill themselves or others because of drink driving.
I’m not going to list reasons why you shouldn’t drink and drive. You probably know those already. Instead here are some reasons why you or I might choose to drink and drive, even though we know we shouldn’t.
“I’m not drunk”
Often we don’t realise we’re drunk! It can be a little too easy to kid ourselves that we are in complete control. We might be in control of our speech and balance, but our reaction times and road awareness are WAY off.
“It’s the morning after”.
You generally only lose 1 unit of alcohol per hour from your system. So if you’re drinking till the early hours or are involved in particularly heavy drinking, you’ll still have a high chance of crashing when you wake up.
“I’ve only had two pints”.
According to think.direct.gov.uk we “double your chances of a collision” by having a second drink before we drive. Alcohol affects people differently depending on their weight, food consumption, gender and even stress levels. Don’t try to guess your own limit. Play it safe and call a cab.
‘We’re only going “just down the road.”’
If it’s a very short distance home, you’re not much safer. Most drink-drive accidents happen less than 3 miles from where the driver began their journey.
“Someone else needs a lift home, and I have drunk less.”
It can seem like the right thing to do. They’ve had 5 pints, while you’re still in control. But we’re fooling ourselves again. We’re still taking a huge risk for little gain.
“I will let my friends down if I don’t give them a lift.”
It can be really difficult to be the ‘kill joy’ but at times we need to just let people down so that they can live. There was a wise king that once said ‘wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses’. Be the one to do the right thing and be a true friend.
“I need to de-stress.”
We can justify drinking more after we’ve had a particularly hellish or hectic day at work. But according to drinkaware.co.uk/advice alcohol can actually increase your stress levels, rather than help us wind down; so it’s best not to be dependent upon a pint for our after-work wind-down.
Here at The Big Red L Company we are committed to creating “safe drivers for life”. We’re not only interested in helping you pass your test, but helping you to enjoy a long-lifetime of accident-free driving.
If you’re interested in lessons contact us.