It is estimated that one in five motorists will drive, knowingly or inadvertently, over the legal drink drive limit
during the Christmas period. This will, of course, include motorists who know they have consumed alcohol in excess of the legal limit but will also include a large number of people stopped by police, the morning after a Christmas party.
When a motorist has been consuming significant amounts of alcohol for several nights on the run, not only does the amount in the body naturally start to backup, but the body metabolises it at a slower rate which means it remains in the system for far longer and puts the motorist at increased risk of being over the limit and facing a prosecution for a drink driving charge this Christmas.
That is not the only potential prosecution faced by motorists. Even if a motorist is not over the limit, if, either due to a hangover, late nights, disrupted sleep pattern a motorist is involved in an accident they could face a prosecution for dangerous driving. It is well-established caselaw that if an individual drives whilst not fit through tiredness, illness or other cause, which results in a danger, then the offence of dangerous driving has been committed. This can result in a prosecution for dangerous driving. Examples include motorists falling asleep at the wheel but they can even include simple cases of motorists failing to notice particular hazards on the road as a result of tiredness which results in very serious, sometimes fatal consequences.
Furthermore, the general public regard the offence of drug-driving
as driving whilst having cannabis, cocaine or other illegal drugs in the system. An increased number of prosecutions for drug driving are arising from people having been stopped by the police or involved in an accident, whilst having significant quantities of over-the-counter medication in the system. The primary example of this is motorists being prosecuted for drink-driving due to unlawfully high levels of codeine in the system. Codeine, an opiate, is known to cause drowsiness and lack of concentration. The legal limits of this medication are low. Another potential that the motorist therefore has to look out for is taking significant amounts of codeine based medication, especially if being taken to cure a hangover!
A large number of motorists face a police prosecution for using their mobile phones to take photographs following a crash on the M1 motorway in Bedfordshire.
The accident caused 14 miles of tailbacks. Whilst motorists were driving past, at low speed, they were videoed by the police whilst using their mobile phones to take photographs of the accident.
More than 18,000 speeding motorists have been fined for speeding
offences on the motorway between Junction 18 and Junction 20.
Whilst the vast majority of the speeding fines have been dealt with by way of a conditional offer a fixed penalty
, in relation to the higher speeding offences recorded by the cameras there have been a large number of police prosecutions involving cases before the magistrates court.
Information obtained under the Freedom of Information Act has indicated that 73 motorists per day, on average, are caught by the speed cameras.
The use of any of the facilities on a mobile phone whilst driving is an offence. This can result in a Magistrates Court prosecution in certain cases, alternatively the police may offer a fixed penalty of 3 penalty points upon the driving license and a fine of £100.
With regard to the causes of fatal road traffic accidents, there are a "fatal 4"preliminary causes of deaths whilst driving. These include drink-driving
, failing to wear a seatbelt, speeding
and using any function on the mobile phone whilst driving.