10 Common Misconceptions about Drink-Driving
1] My drivers would never drive after drinking.
Not that evening perhaps but it may surprise you to hear that they DO drink-drive: regularly – the ‘morning after’. Almost 1:5 of the 90,000 drivers convicted of drink driving each year are on their way to, or at, work next day. Most of these drivers felt FIT to drive and are amazed to be convicted of something they honestly believed they would never do.
2] They don’t drive a company vehicle – they use their own or have ‘cash for car’.
It doesn’t matter if they are in their own vehicle or yours, if the journey purpose is work related you, the employer, can be deemed responsible for anything that goes wrong. At worst we are talking corporate manslaughter, at best a valued employee who is no longer mobile.
3] You have to be over the limit to be convicted.
Not any more – you can be convicted of being ‘impaired through drink or drugs’. The UK limit of 80mg/100ml of blood is very high compared with most of Europe where it is 50mg/100. 67% of drivers are significantly impaired BELOW this level, if we are shown to be ‘impaired’, that’s still a year’s ban. Many Police Services are honing their skills at Field Impairment Testing (FIT).
4] You would have to drink loads to be ‘over’ the next day.
Not so, 4 pints or 3 glasses of wine the night before could still be there next morning. The later you start drinking and the earlier you get on the road the greater the risk. Extended licensing hours have exacerbated the problem – causing increased ‘morning after’ convictions.
5] Everybody knows how long it takes to clear alcohol from the body.
Really? try this – you go out at 9pm for a meal, start off with a pint of lager (or a G&T if you prefer), have 3 glasses of wine during the meal, and round the evening off with a Brandy. When will you be alcohol FREE and therefore FIT to drive? 3am – 6am – 11am or 3pm the next day. Not sure? Then get trained, so you and your drivers, and keep your licences and livelihoods and life!
6] People who get convicted for drink-driving must drink loads.
Not so, in a recent research project of 1000 drinking weeks of convicted drink-drivers it was found that the average weekly consumption was only 36 units per week, the recommenced amount to an adult male equated to 28 units.
7] We have a policy which says don’t drink-drive, so we’re covered.
‘Don’t drink-drive’ is an objective of your policy – an outcome, not the policy itself. On its own a policy, however extensive is not enough. You have to show you have taken steps to ensure your people both conform to, and comply with, your policy. We can help you do this.
8] Writing a policy is so complicated – I don’t have the time.
Many people make policies more complicated than they need to be. A policy is a journey, not an event. The first version would be reviewed and updated every couple of years, to keep pace with changes. Start with “…. all employees must be alcohol free and not impaired by drugs when at work ..… ” Companies such as *Avoidd can help you finish it, and can supply an ‘off-the-shelf’ policy for under £50.
9] It’s only a problem at Christmas and New Year,
Wrong! June is the peak time for drink driving. The reasons are varied but more drinking occasions, longer drinking episodes and hot weather are some of the factors. At Christmas and New Year we do more planned events; firms do, Auntie Doris’ for Boxing Day etc. Again extended licensing hours have exacerbated the problem
10] You have to be driving to be convicted.
No you don’t, you only have to be ‘in charge’ i.e. have the keys. It’s the only place in English Law where YOU have to prove your innocence – that you were NOT going to drive, everywhere else it is for the prosecution to prove your guilt! – fit an Interlock to protect your drivers.
Courtesy of Avoidd, who specialise in training and education for managing drink and drugs in the workplace
To find out more, visit:- www.drinkdrive.co.uk