As the emergency services prepare for Mad Friday 2021, South Yorkshire partygoers are being asked to get organised, stay safe and sort out their journey home.
This weekend is set to be one of the busiest party periods of the festive season with people celebrating over drinks with colleagues, family and friends.
And as traffic officers continue to operate road-side test sites as part of the annual anti-drink drive campaign, South Yorkshire Safer Roads Partnership (SYSRP) is urging people not to break the law and ‘blow it’ this Mad Friday.
Joanne Wehrle, manager of SYSRP, said: “The more people there are out and about drinking at parties, the more likely we are to see individuals taking risks on our roads.
“We want people to enjoy this time of year but in a safe way – losing a loved one to a drink drive collision would be absolutely horrendous.
“All anyone wants is to have their full family together at Christmas to share this special time.
“So please don’t put yourself or others at risk by driving or riding after consuming alcohol – remember no amount is safe.”
Side effects of drinking alcohol include a reduction in reaction times, a false sense of confidence and impaired vision – all of which massively impact on driving.
The severity of these side effects vary significantly from person to person based on factors including how much you’ve eaten, your stress levels, mental state and how much sleep you’ve had.
For this reason, the Partnership advises that any amount of alcohol before driving should be avoided.
“It’s far safer and far easier to stick to soft drinks if you’re driving, that way you know your judgement won’t be affected,” added Joanne.
“If you want to have a drink, then get organised by booking a taxi, take it in turns to be a designated driver, use public transport or organise a lift in advance.
“Otherwise you are risking not only the legal penalties of drink driving, but the emotional and physical consequences of being involved in a serious collision.
“Think about how you would feel if you seriously, or even worse, fatally, injured someone for the sake of a few drinks on a night out.”
If you are caught driving under the influence of alcohol, you may be banned from driving, have points added on your licence, an unlimited fine, or even imprisonment.
This will mean increased insurance costs, potential job loss and even restrictions on travel to other countries.
“And remember you could still be over the limit the next morning,” added Joanne.
“An average liver can process approximately one unit of alcohol per hour, starting one hour after drinking has stopped.
“This means that if someone drinks 12 units, it can take them roughly 13 hours to fully sober up.
“Stay away from driving until you’re sure that you are in a fit state to use our roads safely.”
SYSRP’s ‘Don’t Blow It’ campaign will feature on bus backs and digital billboards across the county in the run up to Christmas.
You can also follow the campaign on social media @SYSaferRoads #nonefortheroad