The Department for Transport (DfT) statistics show that ‘morning after’ drink driving offences now account for 20% of all drink-driving offences. The figures suggest that the basic warnings concerning drink-driving aren’t always being heeded. People think that going to bed is the same as pressing a reset button but it’s not! Research from ‘Brake’ the road safety charity and the ‘Think!’ anti-drink-driving campaign supports this and report that around 5500 people are failing breath tests between 6am and midday every year.
The January RMG/CWU Road Safety Campaign is about raising awareness of the serious impairing effects of alcohol and drugs on drivers, covering the morning after effects, amounts of alcohol guidance and effects of drugs (including over the counter non-prescription medications).
Alcohol and drugs seriously impair the ability to drive and the effects can continue into the morning after and this could lead to early morning drivers being especially at risk of collisions and injuries to themselves, colleagues or members of the public as well as prosecution with fines and jail sentences.
All Royal Mail Drivers have a legal responsibility to drive safely and minimise risk to themselves and the public. As part of the January business-wide Road Safety Campaign and focus on road safety, the aim is raising awareness of the serious impairing effects of alcohol and drugs on drivers, covering the morning after affects, amounts of alcohol guidance and effects of drugs (including over the counter). A series of Road Safety messages will be communicated with drivers during week commencing 21 January on Alcohol and Drugs while Driving.
Alcohol and the Morning After Effect:
Early morning drivers are especially vulnerable to being over the legal limits the morning after, risking collisions and their own safety and that of other road users and pedestrians e.g. injuries to themselves, colleagues or members of the public. So it’s wise not to drink the night before an early start.
Many drink drivers are caught the morning after they have been drinking as they don’t realise that it takes several hours for alcohol to disappear from the body and someone who was drinking late the previous evening, could easily still be over the limit on their way to work the next morning.
Many people drive vehicles the morning after they have consumed alcohol, believing that they are perfectly capable of driving in a safe and legal manner but this is not always the case.
Drugs (including prescribed and over the counter medicines):
It goes without saying that people should never drive if they’ve taken illegal drugs; Royal Mail Group has a zero-tolerance policy on drug abuse.
Many prescription and over-the-counter medications impair the ability to drive safely, for instance causing drowsiness, affecting reaction times, coordination, concentration or vision. These include some hay fever treatments, decongestants and cough medicines. If unsure, drivers should seek advice from either their G.P. Surgery or a Pharmacist.
A new drug drive law came into force in England and Wales in March 2015 and made it an offence to drive, attempt to drive, or be in charge of a motor vehicle with certain drugs in the body above a specified limit. This applies to illegal drugs, prescribed medicines and over-the-counter medicines.
Any staff member (Royal Mail, Parcelforce, RMSS, RMPFS, Engineering, Fleet etc.) having problems with alcohol or drugs can speak to their manager or they can ring the Royal Mail Group Feeling First Class helpline 0800 6888 777. Counselling, including referral to external sources for support, is available through this service to all employees.