Bucks residents and road users are being urged to think before they drink over the festive period, in a campaign being run by Thames Valley Police and supported by Transport for Buckinghamshire (TfB).
Together, they will be carrying out random roadside drink, speed and seatbelt checks throughout the day and night across the Thames Valley.
Last year’s campaign saw 108 arrests relating to drink-driving in Buckinghamshire, with around 9,000 breath tests carried out in total during this period across the Thames Valley.
In addition to roadside checks, TfB is encouraging residents to download a free app designed to help drivers avoid a ‘morning after’ drink-drive conviction.
Many people do not realise how long after a boozy Christmas party they may still be unfit to drive - even the morning after - and the app has been developed to give an idea of when you will be alcohol free.
The app, called the ‘Morning After Calculator’, presents a wide range of alcoholic drinks and the user enters the drinks he or she is consuming (or has consumed). The app calculates roughly when the alcohol will have passed through their body, allowing one hour for each unit of alcohol, plus an additional hour for the alcohol to enter the bloodstream, and then rounds up the calculation to the nearest half hour.
The app bases its calculation from the time the user stops drinking, not when they start drinking. While accepting this is perhaps over-cautious, the Morning After team says it would “rather be safe than sorry”.
The ‘hours before driving’ calculation is not based on any drink drive limit - it is the length of time when the alcohol in the drinks the person has consumed is likely to have passed through their body completely.
Mark Shaw, cabinet member for transport at Buckinghamshire County Council said, “At this time of year many of us will be attending events with family and friends. Christmas should be a time for relaxing and enjoying ourselves with many happy memories, and I would encourage you not to drink and drive. It would be heartbreaking to make this a Christmas to remember for all the wrong reasons, so if you are drinking any amount of alcohol, even one drink - please leave the car at home and make alternative arrangements.”