With St Patrick’s Day tomorrow (Saturday) many of us will be celebrating by going on a night out. But have you done all you can to make sure you get home safely without the need of a car?

Richard Gladman, IAM RoadSmart’s head of driving and riding standards, provides crucial tips on the preparations you need to make before, during and after drinking alcohol.

  • Even if you’re not driving, take into account that some alcoholic drinks are made up of more units than you may think. For example, one small glass of wine has 1.5 units and a single gin and tonic includes 0.9 units of alcohol. It’s a good idea to keep track of the number of drinks, and the type of drinks you’ve had during the evening as this can determine how long you need to leave it before your next drive the following day.
  • Are you able to drive the morning after? You can calculate the number of hours you need to wait before you can get in your car by accessing apps like the morning after calculator.  A good rule of thumb is to allow an hour per unit of alcohol and then add another hour for absorption. So, if you’ve drunk 10 units of alcohol, that’s 11 hours of no driving, and that’s after you’ve had your last drink.
  • Never believe the myths that sometimes float around about eating bread or a big breakfast to sober you up. Yes it may give you more energy, and even ease the headache, but it definitely doesn’t help quicken the process of the alcohol leaving your system. So don’t let this false sense of security fool you.
  • If you’re going out then leave your car at home. Avoid taking your vehicle out, even if you’re planning on leaving it parked overnight and taking another way home. The more you drink, the more your attitude towards risk changes, which means you may be tempted to drive it home. Don’t risk it. Plan your route from A to B. This can be by train, taxi, bus or even a designated driver, but never your car. Even if you feel you have no way of getting home, it’s better to wake up a friend or family member to come and pick you up rather than get into your car.
  • Don’t drink and drive. It’s simple. We recommend that you never drink and drive – not even after having one drink. At just below the legal limit, you are four times more likely to be involved in a road crash than if you had not had a drink. So no alcohol at all is the best way to stay safe. #NoneForTheRoad.

Richard says: “ A designated driver is a great idea if you all take it in turns, remember to keep them topped up with soft drinks, after all a free cab home is a bargain. And don’t try to encourage them to just have one. If you do need to drive the following day you need to stop drinking earlier, better still, have another day off the roads. If you can manage it, the walk home often takes the edge off the hangover you have invested in. Stay safe and enjoy your weekend.”

James Ash


Content Marketing Executive at

March 16, 2018